There?s been a lot of talk in the game industry on why the PS4 is hardly selling in the Japanese market. Since its launch last February, the PS4 has just sold 620,000 units in Japan. In contrast, Sony in the west has been struggling to keep up with the PS4 demand in Europe.
So, what?s the real reason why the next-gen PlayStation 4 console is barely selling in Japan?
According to an interview by Eurogamer with Sony CEO Andrew House, the primary reason on why the PS4 is not breaking sales records is because of the lack of games with Japanese content.
?”We’re conscious of the fact we have not had yet the sort of groundswell of Japan native content from Japanese publishers and developers,” House admitted.
House admits that Sony is having a hard time ?evangelizing? the PS4 platform to Japanese publishers and developers. Though he says that he only views that as temporary as he expects a lot of Japanese to turn to the PS4 later on.
Another factor that contributes is that Japan is heavily dominated by portable devices, House says. A lot of Japanese spend their time playing with handheld devices rather than consoles. In fact, the PlayStation 3 is only on its way of gaining some ground in the Japanese market despite its release years ago.
“Compared to that, Japan is completely different. It’s more portable-heavy, but the PS3 is catching up. Of course, after we announced PS4 in February, luckily publishers are showing an interest. But it’s a completely different picture of readiness compared to western publishers.”
The primary reason people buy the PlayStation 4 is to play great games but people in the west also utilize the other features of the console in other ways such as watching Netflix and Amazon Video. Unlike in Japan, people hardly watch any streaming services, House points out. He says Japanese people can?t find a secondary reason to purchase the console aside from playing games, and that?s hurting the sales of the PS4.
“If you look at the US PS4 user, yes by far the biggest engagement is around games on the platform, but a major factor in there is the likes of Netflix and Amazon video. That tells me there is already a secondary reason for purchasing this device.?
Despite the rough start of the PS4 in Japan, House still expects that more users will buy the console once more Japanese games come out in the future.
“We’ll see over time great games coming from Japanese publishers and developers. 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.”
For the full interview read here.
Image Source: Sony Playstation?