The PlayStation Network name will be phased out starting tomorrow. An email being sent to current PlayStation Network members notes that "PlayStation Network accounts" are being replaced with "Sony Entertainment Network" accounts, and users will be required to accept a new terms of service the first time they log on after February 7th.
"The rebranding of PlayStation Network accounts to Sony Entertainment Network accounts is a change in name only," the notice tells users. "Your username or password will not change, nor are we asking you to change them."
PlayStation Network users have had a SEN account ever since the Sony Entertainment Network launched last year. For example, if you wanted to perform remote deactivations of your PlayStation systems, you needed to access the official SEN website. Essentially, only the name of the PSN is being changed--not the functionality.
According to the notice, the rebranding will get Sony "closer to our goal of establishing a global comprehensive network platform of services across games, movies, music and more, all accessible from one convenient account." In addition to PlayStation Network, the SEN includes Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited services--both currently accessible on the PS3.
In order to facilitate the name change, PS3 and Vita owners can expect a firmware update this week that includes the updated branding. A Sony representative offered Shacknews this comment:
Back at IFA in September, we announced that we would be changing the name of Sony’s online entertainment services from Qriocity to Sony Entertainment Network. The reason for this change was so that there was more unity between the services and the multiple Sony devices where they can be accessed. The goal is for there to be one networked log-in for all Sony services. By changing the name ‘PlayStation Network account’ to ‘Sony Entertainment Network account’, helps clarify the unity between PSN and other Sony Entertainment Network services. Users can enjoy the same services continuously without being required to change their username and password. However, this change will not affect the naming of “PlayStation®Network accounts” when viewed on a PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) system. The account name change is the first step in integrating PSN into the world of Sony Entertainment Network, the ultimate digital destination offering access to entertainment, commerce, and community, all from one convenient account. Through this integration, users will be able to access a comprehensive selection of services across games, movies and music under a simplified environment, accessible across a wide range of Sony products.