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Sony Cutting Jobs at U.S. Game Unit

Sony Computer Entertainment has said it plans to cut jobs from its U.S.-based game unit in order to make itself more competitive, although the company declined to say how many jobs would be eliminated, and when the cuts would occur.

According to the Associated Press, Sony sees the move as a way to reform its gaming business and adjust to a market where people are not just using consoles for playing video games, but for connecting to the Internet, buying digital media, watching videos, and tapping into media on their home networks.

The announcement shortly after Sony’s gaming division posted a loss for its most recent fiscal year approaching $2 billion, owing mostly to the design and startup costs associated with its powerful (but expensive) PlayStation 3 gaming console. The PS3 is struggling in the marketplace against Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and the popular Nintendo Wii. While the Nintendo Wii is less powerful than either of its rivals, it offers an innovative motion-sensitive controller and games which appeal outside the traditional video gamer market. The Wii is also less expensive than either competing console, and recent figures have the system outselling the PS3 by a factor of five to one in Japan, home turf for both companies.

Sony’s just-announced reductions follow on job cuts announced in Europe in April. The company says it doesn’t plan to cut any jobs in Japan.