At CES 2010, Sony's Kaz Hirai -- potential successor to Sir Howard Stringer, if you're just joining us -- introduced "Sony Network Entertainment," a new corporate unit tasked with the expansion of the increasingly vital PlayStation Network architecture. At CES this year, Kaz said 2011 would find Sony "building upon the video, music, game and book offerings on our Qriocity and our PlayStation Network services to deliver a compelling, unique experience for Sony across a wide range of consumer electronic devices."

It looks like part of that plan is in progress now with the introduction of SNEA. Some of you may have received an "important message" from the "PlayStation Network team at Sony Computer Entertainment America" in your inbox today alerting you to a rather troubling change: SCEA is giving all of the money in your online wallet away ...

... to Sony Network Entertainment America! "The first time you sign in to your Sony Online Services account on or after April 1," the important message reads, "you will be asked to enter into a new Terms of Service and User Agreement with SNEA." You can take a peek at that new ToS located conveniently at (Aside: Isn't it cute when Sony pretends that Qriocity is just as important as PlayStation Network?)

If your relationship with SNEA starts and stops at PlayStation Network, then nothing really changes for you; however, if you're all about Sony's networked services, having a unified wallet and identity will probably be a convenience. Until they tie your PSN tag to your musical tastes. "Hey xxXSmokezMadBluntz420Xxx, how's that new Bieber album?"