Further to the emails that went out over the weekend to PlayStation Network subscribers that outlined that PlayStation Network accounts would be renamed to Sony Entertainment Network accounts, Sony has confirmed to Eurogamer that there is a little more to this move than just a name change.
Originally, it was assumed that nothing would change apart from the name. However, it is not just PlayStation Network accounts that will be changed, but “the entire PSN platform will become Sony Entertainment Network.” This shouldn't affect the content users have purchased and features like trophies should still exist. It is implied that we'll see user-interface changes in the near future too.
A spokesperson for Sony confirmed that the PSN being changed to SEN will make it “clearer and easier” for people to associate everything that Sony does. It would appear that this is another way of marketing the company’s services which could work out if executed properly. It is rare to see Sony, completely renovate and change the look and feel of one of its services; this almost seems a little Microsoft-esque.
It's quite peculiar for Sony to apply such a change now, when Sony's biggest entertainment platform is the PlayStation 3 and that in itself is over five years old. It's not so much a case of whether SEN is the same service that users were getting with PSN because it probably is, it's more of a case of why it is happening now. It would seem that the PlayStation Vita release could have something to do with it but could this also mean that these are the first few steps towards Sony's next generation entertainment platforms?
Either way, a firmware update will be released for the PS3 in the near future that will allow users of the system to fully utilize SEN features. This suggests SEN exceeds the what PSN could do and should offer a better overall service, but we’ll learn more then. Hopefully the security, content, functionality and overall features improve.
PlayStation Network accounts are to be renamed Sony Entertainment Network accounts from tomorrow, 7th February.