PlayStation boss says company isn’t moving away from Japan with PS5

By Alex Calvin
4 December 2020 10:51 GMT

CEO insists this is still a really important market for the games firm.

The head of Sony Interactive Entertainment Jim Ryan has come out against claims that PlayStation is less focused on its native Japan these days.

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Speaking to Edge – as reported by GamesRadar – the exec said that this country is still hugely important for its business. This follows the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller swapping the meanings of the Cross and Circle buttons in Asia. Previously, Circle was used to confirm in Asia, in contrast to the rest of the world where this was mapped to Cross. A Bloomberg report in November also said that Sony Japan had been “sidelined” with the company focusing on the US market following lower PS4 sales in the region.

“The Sony stance is that the Japanese market remains incredibly important to us,” Ryan said.

“We have not been as excited about the engagement of the Japanese game development community as we are now for many years.”

He continued: “We saw in the second half of the PS4 cycle a greater level of engagement from those Japanese publishers. That continues and strengthens yet again with PS5.”

Ryan also points out that it is still featuring plenty of games from Japanese developers in its showcases, in addition to launching on the PlayStation 5 on the same day in the region as it did the US.

“I’d also observe that we’re making a statement by launching in Japan day and date with the US, and that is not what we did with PS4,” he said.

“So I read that stuff. A lot of that commentary is inaccurate, and Japan – as our second largest market and as Sony’s heartland – continues to be really important to us.”

PlayStation 5 was released on November 12 and 19, depending on where in the world you happen to live. The company has since said that this was its “biggest console launch ever.”

Back in 2016, Sony’s games business was renamed Sony Interactive Entertainment and its headquarters moved from Tokyo, Japan to San Mateo, California. Since then, the company has moved towards a more US-centric structure, with regional offices reportedly having less autonomy than before.

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