If you’re a console gamer in Japan already planning to get your hands on Sony’s newfangled gaming console the Playstation 4, this will definitely come as bad news – you’re going to have to wait until February next year to get it. This is three months later than the launch date for all other territories – November 15 in the United States and November 29 in Europe. It is notable that this is the first time the Japanese electronics giant has chosen to launch its flagship console later in its homeland, unlike the launches for the original Playstation up to the PS3, which were either earlier or coincided with the global launches.
Sony announced this little bit of fact on Monday, also saying that the PlayStation 4 will go on sale for 39,980 yen (around US$400) in Japan, roughly the same price as in the U.S. This is the first official information from the Japanese manufacturers regarding the official launch date and the price of the PS4 in the Japanese market – and it does not bode well for Japanese gamers. The official statement from Sony is that it is deciding to wait until next year to debut the PS4 in Japan to make sure that the number of games suited for the home market were already substantial. We don’t know about you, but we’re not convinced.
One of the big reasons could be the decline of the relevance of the Japanese market towards Sony’s sales numbers. The trend has been instructive – according to data from VGChartz Network, Japan sales of the original PlayStation took 18.6% of the global total. Japanese sales of the PlayStation 2 tallied 14.7% of all sales, while the PS3 racked up only 11.9% of sales at home. If we see the declining trend as a harbinger for the future, we can assume that Sony may have decided that the declining numbers won’t matter too much and that greater concentration should be given to the U.S. and European market. We know some of the Japanese gamers might cry foul over this, but it looks the same way with Sony’s gaming competitor Microsoft, also choosing not launch their new Xbox One gaming console in Japan until 2014. Everywhere else, Microsoft is planning to take on Sony head-to-head, launching the new Xbox on November 22, right around when the PS4 is coming out. So what to do, Japanese console gamers? We suggest you contact a good importer if you really want to get the goods the same time as everybody does. If not, three months is not such a long wait anyway.
[via Wall Street Journal]