Sony explains why PS4 is struggling in Japan

Friday, 11th July 2014 16:52 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

PlayStation 4 arrived late in Japan compared to other regions, and since its arrival, it has been a rather hard sale since launch.

This is according to SCE boss Andrew House who told Eurogamer that while the console had a banner start, interest has tapered off since it first arrived at retail. House attributed the lack of continued sales in part to wariness of Japanese developers.

“It’s doing okay [in Japan],” he said. “There was a slight level of concern around the viability of the console market in Japan [and] we’re conscious of the fact we have not had yet the sort of groundswell of native content from Japanese publishers and developers. I view that as temporary.

“There’s definite developer and publisher enthusiasm for the platform, especially having seen the overarching success it’s had in markets outside of Japan For whatever reasons, when we were evangelizing around the platform, we were having a tougher sell with Japanese publishers and developers.”

One of the reasons PS4 is so popular in the West, according to House, is due to streaming services which have yet to make an impact in Japan.

“We’ll see over time great games coming from Japanese publishers and developers,” he added. “That’s point number one. Point number two, which is hampering us a little bit, is for a variety of other structural reasons around the entertainment industry in Japan, we’re not seeing that secondary usage. Those two are colluding together.

PS4 system architect Mark Cerny, who also spoke with Eurogamer at Develop added: “It’s because the products are not there to compel the people to buy the console. We’ll have a much better read on that a year or two after the Japanese publishers start releasing those interesting titles.”

At launch in Japan during February the console sold 322,083 units within two days, outselling PS3 by 88,443 units during the same timeframe. At present, PS4 has moved 620,000 units in Japan, and last week, outsold PlayStation 3 by only 500 units.

Thanks, MCV.



  1. polygem

    the next gen consoles…big mouthed promises, not yet delivered. the ones they have sold already, they have sold to the hyped guys – now they need to deliver for the less impulsive buyers that want to see some true value in these things.

    #1 6 months ago
  2. polygem

    …before they bite.

    #2 6 months ago
  3. Dragon

    Because they don’t have games now, and they probably wont have many in lifetime too, same with wiiu and other future home consoles. That is, unless Japanese devs makes games for western audience (which is more geared towards home consoles) than eastern audience (handheld oriented), which doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    #3 6 months ago
  4. OrbitMonkey

    @polygem, Er no. Its for the exact same reasons the WiiU struggles in the west.

    Of course the WiiU has been snapped up by those who’ve bought the hype, now they need to deliver for the less impulsive.


    #4 6 months ago
  5. Legendaryboss

    The market in Japan is different, they follow the games. Until those arrive, they won’t jump on board. The west didn’t have this problem. I do find it amusing that PS4 is a success story in the west, whereas PS Vita is a success story in the east. Streaming services? Okay, add in first/third party support and sure.

    Back to Japan we know by now Japan is geared towards the handheld market first, then the console market second. Of course Japan Studio will have to do something to save PS4 (Bloodborne), thats when Vita is more or less completely phased out development wise from every Sony studio.

    #5 6 months ago
  6. polygem

    sure…..but to me the wiiu IS a nextgen console as well and what i said applies to the wiiu as well. the fact that it finally starts do do a bit better is because it now starts to deliver and people start to see a true value in it.

    #6 6 months ago
  7. thegrimmling

    Stick a FF game on there… they go nuts for that shit.

    #7 6 months ago
  8. Clupula

    If everybody recalls, the PS3 sold horribly in Japan until Tales of Vesperia got its port. I imagine the same thing will happen with the PS4. Once the new Tales comes out, once the new Falcom game, once all the new JRPGs that have supposedly been announced for it come out, the system will not have any difficulty anymore. Right now, the games currently released are way too Western focused to attract Japanese consumers.

    Not to mention, if Dragon Quest XI ends up there, it certainly won’t hurt.

    #8 6 months ago
  9. Froseidon

    @polygem – I’m not hyped and I bought one (albeit, like 2 weeks ago :P). I purchased it as a future investment. I waited until I determined what I though was true value. Buying it now seemed like the right time since summer is a bit stagnant, I can go through the launch titles until the end of the year picks up.

    #9 6 months ago
  10. polygem

    I did the same, believing that destiny and diablo III are enough…and they are for me…but my point stands…They still need to deliver that big fat next gen promise.

    #10 6 months ago
  11. Erthazus

    This is a stupid article.

    PS4 is 6 months old in JP where it has no games.
    WiiU is one year and a half.

    Comparisons are retarded. PS4 will sell well in Japan.

    The problem is only in Japanese devs that don’t make a lot of Jap games. Where is Capcom? Where is Konami. Metal Gear won’t do PS4 justice in Japan. Where is Square Enix? Sega is doing Aliens… Yaay for us anyway and only Nintendo works really well.

    Dead Japs industry.

    #11 6 months ago
  12. Arcnail

    Because there are still no good games to warrant such a purchase?

    #12 6 months ago
  13. Dragon

    @thegrimmling ,
    2 of them are incoming of PS4, Type-0 and FF15.
    Still, reaching 10 million (PS3 numbers) would be difficult, if not impossible. The market for home consoles is rapidly contracting there.

    New Falcom game will hardly help, since that userbase has taken handhelds (Vita) as the main platform now.

    #13 6 months ago
  14. OmegaSlayer

    PS4 is the most solid hardware around, still…I wonder if the library will ever get up to expectation.
    Ok, this is still the first year but there’s a big part of the potential fanbase that don’t see interest.
    The problem is…will Capcom, Konami, Square, Sega be back to release the games we used to love?
    Not in name, but in quality.

    #14 6 months ago
  15. jmg24bad

    I think the landslide for video games starts in September. Destiny and then October is a cluster fuck. November is no slouch either. Holy shit.

    #15 6 months ago
  16. Clupula

    I know you get a massive hard-on for the little disaster known as the Vita, but I’m willing to bet Japan will be pretty fucking excited for a new Y’s title (which is what the PS4 title appears to be).

    #16 6 months ago
  17. marporte

    Sony pretty much has NIS, Atlus, Konami, Square-Enix, From Software Level 5, Sega for the and a few other big developers who make content exclusively for the Sony consoles so it will take time. Most of these developers care about the handheld market when it comes to Nintendo and Nintendo is thriving on moslty on first party games like they have been for the last 2 generations when it comes to consoles. When those develops start working on PS4 then thats going to change rpgs and mmos will help increase the numbers. The only major Square-Enix title on Wii U is DQX. Nintendo is also has Mistwalker and Monolith and Platinium(not exclusively). 99% of MS will do in Japan will get ported over to a directors cut like Tales of Vesperia did. Sony pretty much rule exclusive AAA content from 3rd party when it comes to consoles in Japan.

    #17 6 months ago
  18. Dragon

    @Clupula ,
    Oh? Just like you bet on how PS3 version of a certain Falcom game will outsell a Vita version? And how I was correct in Vita version outselling the ps3 one? Duh.

    You should mind your language especially when talking about things others like me know more about. I am willing to take your bet again though, which I will win, again.

    #18 6 months ago

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