February 22 was the date that the PlayStation 4 finally landed in Japan, just four months after the release of the console in the west. You’d think that Japanese gamers would be eager to finally get their hands on the console, but apparently not according to sales figures from the weekly Japanese Sales Chart.
Since the consoles launch in February, Sony has shifted a fairly disappointing 600,000 PlayStation 4 units and constantly fails to amass 10,000 units week-on-week putting it in line with the Wii U and the consoles predecessor, the PlayStation 3. Sony have since spoken out about the disappointing sales with Sony Computer Entertainment President Andrew House, admitting, “It’s doing okay.”
Speaking at the Develop conference this week, House shed some light on why the console is just “doing okay” in Japan, revealing that it’s mostly to do with developer engagement from Japan, something he believes is a temporary thing.
“We’re conscious of the fact we have not had yet the sort of groundswell of Japan native content from Japanese publishers and developers. I view that as temporary,” House revealed. “There’s definite developer and publisher enthusiasm for the platform, especially having seen the overarching success it’s had in markets outside of Japan, and again this outpacing of the PlayStation 2. We’ll see that come into games people in Japan will get excited about, but unfortunately a little bit later than has happened in other markets.”
The main reason for this reluctance to get behind the PlayStation 4 is because developers and publishers were “comfortable” with the PlayStation 3 and didn’t want to commit to a new and unproven platform.
“For whatever reasons, when we were evangelising around the platform, we were having a tougher sell with Japanese publishers and developers,” House admitted.
“There was a comfort level around PS3 that was playing into that. There was a slight level of concern around the viability of the console market in Japan. But 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.”
Much like the Wii U, it seems Japanese developers are steering clear of the PlayStation 4 until it gains more traction, something that won’t happen unless Japanese developers adopt the PlayStation 4.. It’s a catch 22 which I personally think is ridiculous. Let’s hope the Frozen PlayStation 4 brings more sales, eh?