Sony Entertainment Network unifies online services

The electronics giant is unifiying online services under the Sony brand name and using them to stitch together its vast array of products.

Kazuo Hirai, president of Sony's consumer products and services group, unveils the Sony Entertainment Network at IFA in Berlin.
Stephen Shankland/CNET

BERLIN--Sony unified its online services for music, video, and games under a new banner called the Sony Entertainment Network, unveiled today.

"We're leveraging the biggest asset, the Sony brand, to establish comprehensive, global platorm called Sony Enterntainment Network," said Kazuo Hirai, president of Sony's consumer products and services group, at a news conference at the IFA trade show here.

Christopher MacManus broke the news of the new Sony network on CNET last week. And as he suspected, the Qriocity brand name has vanished from the music and video services, which now are called simply Video Unlimited and Music Unlimited.

Additional Sony news from IFA:
• Sony debuts Android-based Walkman prototype
• Sony bets on quality with S and P Android tablets
• Sony Reader Wi-Fi puts Kindle in its sights
• Hands-on with Sony's new Vaio SE 15-inch laptop

The Sony Entertainment Network Web site is already live, featuring music, video, and Playstation Network game options.

The services won't just be Sony's, though. Third parties will be able to participate, Hirai said. That could be a compelling offer, given that the company plans to integrate SEN services throughout its very broad array of products. Sony sells TVs, home entertainment systems, mobile phones, music players, computers, cameras, camcorders, e-book readers, and more. And it has a lot of its own music and video content.

The move will "accelerate the integration of hardware, content, and network," Hirai said. In a way the move embodies Hirai's new role at Sony, the first person to lead all of Sony's consumer products.

"The whole of Sony is greater than the sum of its parts," Hirai said.

Sony Entertainment Network logo
Sony Entertainment Network logo Stephen Shankland/CNET