Sony names a deputy chief for its games business

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sonySony has named Kunimasa Suzuki, a veteran of its Vaio computer business, as the deputy president of its video game business.

Suzuki will report to Kazuo Hirai, president and group chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment, which is the Japan-based game business that includes the PlayStation products.

The appointment is effective July 1 and Suzuki will assist Hirai in handling day-to-day operations of the game business, including areas of strategy and product planning.

Sony is definitely in need of strategy in games. The PlayStation 3 is a distant third in console sales, weighing in at 22 million sold compared to more than 30 million for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and 50 million for Nintendo’s Wii. Nintendo’s handheld DS and DSi are also outselling Sony’s PlayStation Portable by two-to-one. In the previous generation of consoles, Sony’s was No. 1.

Right now, the company is hobbled by high costs for the PS 3, which includes a Blu-ray movie player, at $399. Video game observers have been expecting Sony to cut its price, but the corporation’s overall business is still weak.

Suzuki joined Sony in 1984 and was assigned to work in Saudi Arabia in overseas marketing. In 1999, he became head of the Vaio computer business and continued there until 2007. Then he took corporate strategy and planning jobs.

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