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.