It was recently announced that Japan, home of electronics giant Sony who are makers of the Playstation gaming console, will be getting the 4th version of the ubiquitous gaming console at a considerably later date than the United States and European markets. This is a new strategy for the Japanese console makers who usually launched in its home market first. Naturally, Japanese gamers who are used to the preferential treatment given to them by Sony were given a rude awakening, as it slowly dawned on them that they were going to be getting the PS4 a full 3 months later than the U.S. and Europe.
Sony’s maintains that the main reason for delaying the highly anticipated console in its home market is in order to provide a stronger game lineup specifically designed for Japanese gamers. “At this time, there are a great number of Playstation 4 software titles being made by developers outside of Japan. It will take time for these titles to be tailored for launch here,” said Hiroshi Kawano, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Furthermore, in a statement made through the official Playstation blog. “I think that it is important to add a greater number of Japanese-made games to the launch lineup,” Kawano added.
The rationale behind the delay seemed sound, but it still does not cover for the fact that it rankles Japanese gamers to be handling the new console so late after those in the U.S. and Europe had already had their fun. Comments from Japanese gamers suggest that they are neither convinced that this is the real reason for the delay, nor especially happy about being sent to the back of the queue. “The whole ‘preparing software for Japan’ argument is so transparent – Sony simply wants to win in America,” says one Japanese netizen. “Give me a break. What was the point in writing such a long blog post? This is clearly just a business move,” says another. In fact, one can actually be hugely sure that it is in fact a business move. The decline of the relevance of the Japanese market towards Sony’s sales numbers has been particularly marked and obvious. One may assume, and for most parts be correct, that Sony may have decided that the numbers in Japan won’t matter too much to their bottom line and that greater concentration should be given to the U.S. and European market.
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