Tokyo Sony Computer Entertainment will merge its Japan and Asia units into a new entity called Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia.

In announcing the move, the company said it wants to trim and strengthen SCE’s Asian operations in the run-up to its release of the PlayStation 4 videogame console. The merger is also part of Sony’s drive to finally bring its balance sheet back into the black after years of red ink.

The new unit will be under the leadership of senior VP Hiroshi Kawano, with current SCE Asia chief Hiroyuki Oda serving as deputy veepee.

There will be further personnel reshuffles connected with the merger, as well as a combining of administrative, quality and product management and other functions. Some teams, such as sales and online services, will remains separate for each region.

During the October-December quarter, Sony racked up its eighth straight loss. Its core electronics biz was the main culprit, though sales in the Games segment also fell 15.1% year-to-year, to $3.086 billion, as sales of the PS3 and PSP handheld continued to slide. Sony projects that Games sales for the fiscal year will be slightly lower than during its 2011 fiscal year.