The company was founded in Tokyo, Japan, and established on November 16, 1993, as Sony Computer Entertainment, to handle Sony's venture into video game development with its PlayStation brand. Since the successful launch of the original PlayStation console in 1994, the company has since been developing the PlayStation lineup of home video game consoles and accessories. Expanding upon North America and other countries, the company soon became Sony's main resource for research and development in video games and interactive entertainment. In 1994, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA), began to produce the original PlayStation console in North America. In April 2016, SCE and Sony Network Entertainment was restructured and reorganized into Sony Interactive Entertainment, carrying over the operations and primary objectives from both companies. The same year, SIE moved its headquarters from Tokyo to San Mateo, California.
Sony Interactive Entertainment handles the research and development, production, and sales of both hardware and software for the PlayStation video game systems. Alongside, it is also a developer and publisher of video game titles and is composed of several subsidiaries of Sony's largest markets: North America, Europe and Asia. As of December 31, 2017, the company has sold more than 515 million PlayStation consoles overall worldwide.
Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. (SCEI) was jointly established by Sony and its subsidiary Sony Music Entertainment Japan in 1993 to handle the company's ventures into the video game hardware market. The original PlayStation console was released on December 3, 1994, in Japan.
The company's North American operations, Sony Computer Entertainment of America (SCEA), were originally established in May 1995 as a division of Sony Electronic Publishing. Located in Foster City, California, the North American office was originally headed by Steve Race.
In the months prior to the release of the PlayStation in Western markets, the operations were restructured: All videogame marketing from Sony Imagesoft was folded into SCEA in July 1995, with most affected employees transferred from Santa Monica, California, to Foster City. On August 7, 1995, Race unexpectedly resigned and was named CEO of Spectrum HoloByte three days later. He was replaced by Sony Electronics veteran Martin Homlish. This proved to be the beginning of a run of exceptional managerial turnover, with SCEA going through four presidents in a single year. The PS console was released in the United States on September 9, 1995.
As part of a worldwide restructuring at the beginning of 1997, SCEA (currently Sony Interactive Entertainment America) and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe were both re-established as wholly owned subsidiaries of SCEI.
The launch of the second PS console, the PlayStation 2 was released in Japan on March 4, 2000, and the U.S. on October 26, 2000.