Layoffs hit Sony's PlayStation unit

At least 80 employees in the company's Foster City, California office are out of work, according to a report.

At least 80 employees in Sony Computer Entertainment of America's Foster City, California PlayStation unit have been laid off, according to a report in the popular video game blog, Kotaku.

But Kotaku quoted SCEA spokesman Dave Karraker as saying, "In an effort to accurately align the company to meet the changing needs of our consumers and our industry, (SCEA) has found it necessary to...restructure the company as necessary to continue our standing as the market leader."

And in an email to CNET, Karraker confirmed the report Wednesday morning.

Given Sony's troubles--the much-hyped PlayStation 3 is currently in last place among next-generation video game consoles, trailing Nintendo's Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360--Karraker's comment about SCEA trying to maintain its position as "market leader" is being laughed at by some. Still, the company's PlayStation and PlayStation 2 were world-beaters, and the PS2 is still a best-seller.

Kotaku reported that Karraker would not comment on the number of employees affected, which the blog put at "roughly 80 to 100," according to a source who was among those laid off.

Those who lost their jobs were asked to leave immediately and "either have their manager pack up their desk for them or schedule an appointment some evening to fetch their possessions," Kotaku wrote.