While the PlayStation 4 has ripped up the sales record books in Western regions since its release last November, the system’s struggling a little in its native Japan. Sony originally said that it intended to delay the console’s launch in its home nation in order to secure a better lineup of software, but following a fairly uneventful first few months on the market, that content offering still isn’t quite there.
"It's because the products are not there to compel the people to buy the console," lead architect Mark Cerny told Eurogamer.net when asked about the platform’s problems in the East. "We'll have a much better read on that a year or two after the Japanese publishers start releasing those interesting titles." Games like Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III are highly anticipated, but still don’t have a date.
Group president Andrew House agrees that the system needs more tailored content to hit critical mass in the Land of the Rising Sun, but believes that this will only be a temporary issue. “We’ve really turned a corner on that and demonstrated that if you're a publisher that wants to reach a global market with good and immersive games then the PS4 is definitely the place to be,” he beamed.
However, while maintaining an optimistic outlook, the executive is not blind to other issues that may not be quite as obvious. “There's a primary reason to buy a PS4, which is great games. The second thing I definitely think has happened is that much earlier in the platform's lifecycle, we are reaching a broader audience than just a core gamer,” he continued.
This, House suggested, is due to the popularity of catch-up services such as Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, which just haven’t taken off in Japan yet. “You see an inherent conservatism around film and TV content holders that doesn't allow for the rise of these brand new services,” he sighed. “I think that that's a factor.”
The affable executive concluded that the lack of tailored software and limited second usage appeal are “colluding” together to lessen the appeal of the next-gen machine in its home nation. However, the organisation is not overly concerned right now, and House is confident that things will change in time. “We'll see [the enthusiasm come among Japan consumers], but unfortunately a little bit later than has happened in other markets," he concluded. Let's hope, huh?