Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) aims to make games as popular as music, movies and broadcasting and has been developing the PlayStation® business for users in all age groups.
Console game industry organizations have responded to the proliferation of new game genres by introducing rating systems for customers in Japan, the United States and Europe (CERO, ESRB and PEGI, respectively), based on games' target age groups. The U.S. system has operated for more than 20 years and won top marks from the public, not only for indicating age categories but also for being the first to add descriptions that detail the contents of a game. PEGI is endorsed by the European Commission as a paradigm of self-regulation in the entertainment industry. In Japan, measures are being promoted to make the system more effective, including, with the cooperation of retailers, the voluntary refusal to sell software rated by CERO for ages 18 and above to underage customers.
To regulate access by underage users, SIE has included a Parental Control function in PlayStation®4, PlayStation®3 and PlayStation®Vita. This function enables customers to adjust access levels and limit children's access only to appropriate software across the PlayStation® platform.
As Internet use begins at younger and younger ages and Web-connected non-computer devices such as smartphones and tablets proliferate, the impact of harmful websites on children has become a social concern. Internet service provider Sony Network Communications Inc. offers various security services, which protects customer devices from threats such as viruses, hacking, and phishing, to provide a safer environment for families to use the Internet.