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  1. #1
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    Why PS4 is struggling in Japan....

    The PlayStation 4 is struggling in Japan. But why?

    The PS4 launched in Japan in February 2014 (four months after the UK and US) and has now sold 620,000 units there. In Japan, over the last couple of weeks, the Wii U outsold the PS4. Last week the PS4 outsold its predecessor the PlayStation 3 by only 500 units.

    "It's doing okay," was Sony Computer Entertainment boss Andrew House's assessment of the PS4's performance in Japan so far when quizzed on the subject by Eurogamer at the Develop conference in Brighton.

    This is in stark contrast to the performance of the console in the west. In the UK the PS4 is the fastest-selling console ever. Globally, the PS4 has shifted seven million units, and is selling at a faster rate than the phenomenally successful PlayStation 2 over the same time period.

    So, what's going wrong in Japan? House highlighted the lack of PS4 games designed by Japanese companies - rather than the fact it launched in Japan after it did in the west.

    "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 said. "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, 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."

    House said Japanese publishers and developers failed to get behind the PS4 when Sony was discussing the console with them ahead of launch because they were comfortable with the PS3 and reluctant to invest in making games for a new and unproven platform.

    Japan game sales data shows that unlike in the west, in Japan there is still much interest in the last generation. Last week the best-selling PS4 game in Japan was Ubisoft's open world hacking game Watch Dogs, which sold 65,000 copies. But PS3 games continue to do well there. Bandai Namco's Kamen Rider: Battride War 2 sold just shy of 60,000 units. And the PS3 version of Watch Dogs sold just under 40,000.

    "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."

    At the Tokyo Game Show in September 2013, senior Sony executives told Eurogamer that they decided to launch PS4 in February because that was when Sony expected more games to be ready for its home market.

    "Sony just wants to make sure that when PS4 launches in Japan there is a good line-up of titles for Japan," the console's lead architect and Knack creative director Mark Cerny said.

    "Perhaps you could say that a few western developers have been more aggressive in readying titles for the hardware."

    But despite the extra time that good line-up of titles for Japan failed to materialise.
    Some analysts are sceptical of PS4's potential success in Japan. Indeed there is a general scepticism about the future of home console gaming there as consumers trend towards smartphones and tablets. Xbox One launches in Japan this September.

    Japan game industry consultant Serkan Toto recently reported on research by Japanese magazine publisher Enterbrain that found console game revenue had remained static for the first half of 2014 compared to the first half of 2013 - despite the launch of the PS4 in February.

    It's worth highlighting the handheld gaming factor here. Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida added Japanese developers have been less focused on next-gen because of the ongoing success of the likes of the 3DS in their home country.

    "That's definitely a major factor when we decided where to launch when," Yoshida said. "The readiness from the publisher standpoint, and consumers and the media - everybody was ready. We were constantly told we should release new hardware!

    "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."

    There may be another factor at play that is hampering sales of the PS4 in Japan - and this one Sony may not be able to do anything about.
    In the west streaming entertainment is already established and hugely popular. On these shores the likes of Netflix and Amazon Instant Video (formerly Lovefilm) have apps available on pretty much all the consoles. In Japan streaming is in a different place.

    According to House, this has meant that for Japanese consumers there is currently no secondary reason to buy a PS4.
    "I don't wish for this to sound like an excuse but it's something I've observed in Japan as I do live there," he said.
    "There's a primary reason to buy a PS4, which is great games. The second thing I definitely think has happened - it's certainly happening in Europe maybe more than elsewhere - is that much earlier in the platform's lifecycle, we are reaching a broader audience than just a core gamer. One of the factors behind that is that all of the work we did on PS3 to offer people this secondary reason to purchase, including catch up TV services.

    "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.

    "If you look at the Japanese market, for a variety of reasons, you have not seen a dominant player in streaming services happen. You see an inherent conservatism around film and TV content holders that doesn't allow for the rise of these brand new services. I think that's another factor.

    "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."

    PS4 system architect Mark Cerny, who Eurogamer also interviewed at Develop, is playing the waiting game.
    "It's because the products are not there to compel the people to buy the console," he put it, plainly. "We'll have a much better read on that a year or two after the Japanese publishers start releasing those interesting titles."

    http://www.eurogamer.net

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    PS3 just got into its prime for Japanese games, so yeah the Japs ain't in a hurry
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  3. #3
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    No games. /thread

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronSOLDIER View Post
    No games. /thread
    Games. Yep. Japan follows the games. But just not any games. Games made by/for Japan. Look at Vita.
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  6. #5
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    Yeah Japan is weird when it comes to games. They are no longer hardcore and only play Nintendo and Final Fantasy for the most part. PS4 is fine as it had the biggest launch since the PS2.

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    Lot more games still coming to PS3 in Japan so there's no hurry in buying one atm.
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  8. #7
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    I would have it more to do with the Wii and people being more attracted to casual stuff. Not so much a lack of games.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AsterPhoenix View Post
    Lot more games still coming to PS3 in Japan so there's no hurry in buying one atm.
    100% correct

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    As soon as Japanese game company's pump out the Japanese games sales of the PS4 will pick up! Like we all say the PS3 and the Vita are prime examples of that!
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  12. #10
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    It will be a while before it hits full stride, plus no games, maybe Sony should give it a price drop

  13. #11
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    Once the games stop reflecting western tastes and provide eastern taste games then sales will pick up. Simple.
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  15. #12
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    Japan devs follow the trend a little behind, I don't mean they can't adopt , they just don't rush things like west guys.
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  16. #13
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    I think the Japanese would want this for PS4 generation thats the issue I had with PS3 not enough quality RPG's for me


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  17. #14
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    I've been saying not enough Japanese developed games was the reason behind the poor Japanese sales for a while now, I just didn't realize that the reason for the lack of Japanese games was a reluctance of the J-devs to invest in the new console. I think it's attitudes like that which have taken J-devs out of the dominate developers seat over last gen. The J-devs were dominate in the mid-80's - ~2010 and the NA and EU devs have become the dominate devs. NA lost it's edge back in the mid-80's when the market tanked and nobody was willing to invest in them.

    Ok, off of that and on the what I felt was a bit of a head scratcher. Streaming media content. It implied that in NA people are buying the consoles for streaming video content.

    First, just about ever PS4/XB1 owner is either a PS3 or 360 owner, so they already have at least one source of streaming media. That said, I'd say most people who own these have multiple accesses to streaming media. I know I've got two smart TVs, two TiVos, multiple Laptops, PCs, Tablets, etc. I don't buy this.

    I think that game consoles may account for a large market because they're hooked up to the TV and network and are easy a bit easier to use than some other items. And while it may have been a secondary reason to purchase a console last gen, it's less likely to be a reason this gen.

    Thanks for posting the article, it was a good read.



  18. #15
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    I don' t even know why Japan is even given attention anymore for video games. they have decided they aren't into pushing the envelope anymore. they've been telling us this for over 8 years.

    if Japan's creme of the crop is SE, that's telling.

  19. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omar View Post
    I don' t even know why Japan is even given attention anymore for video games. they have decided they aren't into pushing the envelope anymore. they've been telling us this for over 8 years.

    if Japan's creme of the crop is SE, that's telling.
    There are still some nice games coming out of Japan.....just not all of them make it over here. I really enjoy Atlus and Spike Chunsoft games. SE certainly isn't the creme of the crop in my eyes.
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  20. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarkNemesis View Post
    Yeah Japan is weird when it comes to games. They are no longer hardcore and only play Nintendo and Final Fantasy for the most part. PS4 is fine as it had the biggest launch since the PS2.
    Japanese FF sales are the lowest since the NES titles.

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    lol yeah i don't think anyone cares about FF anymore. i still don't care, not until they announce a real FF title.

  22. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omar View Post
    lol yeah i don't think anyone cares about FF anymore. i still don't care, not until they announce a real FF title.
    Unfortunately the FF XIII let down, after waiting so long for it between FF's was enough for me to write off the series. And that's really too bad. It's been 5yrs now since a standalone FF game has been released, and I'm not doing an MMORPG.

    SE will have to do something really spectacular to bring back it's audience w/ FF XV and I don't think they have it in them to do this anymore.



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    Quote Originally Posted by TAZ427 View Post
    Unfortunately the FF XIII let down, after waiting so long for it between FF's was enough for me to write off the series. And that's really too bad. It's been 5yrs now since a standalone FF game has been released, and I'm not doing an MMORPG.

    SE will have to do something really spectacular to bring back it's audience w/ FF XV and I don't think they have it in them to do this anymore.
    yup especially becaus the new FF title is just that stupid title they've been trying to do for 8 years. thus why i said a "real" FF title.

    i would give them benefit of the doubt if they had even hinted of another FF title, a standalone like you said, that would be based on a completely new idea. i'm positive we may get a new title but seriously, not even a $#@!ing leak? they need to just leak something on purpose lol, who cares if it's 2-3 years away, leak something!!!

    i'm so sick and tired of waiting for them to deliver and all they do is release another XIII lol. really? why can't you do FFIV-2/3 or FF6-2/3. why do two sequels of a game that everyone hated!!! ERRMERRGERD!

  24. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omar View Post
    I don' t even know why Japan is even given attention anymore for video games. they have decided they aren't into pushing the envelope anymore. they've been telling us this for over 8 years.

    if Japan's creme of the crop is SE, that's telling.
    There is a huge lack of quality Japanese games. Outside of MGS they have nothing on the level of Uncharted,GOW,Elder Scrolls,AC,Mass Effect or the Witcher. Their games only sell on previous quality like RE and FF or popularity like Nintendo games.

    At one point 90% of my games were Japanese.Now Japanese games only make up about 5%. Then games like Dark Souls and MGS have a more Western style.

    The same for DMC, RE and Lords of Shadow. They don't even buy ales, Persona or Bayonetta over there the way they support Nintendo and FF. As stated, they are casual now. There were no great JRPGs last generation. I enjoyed Ni No Kuni, but DQ8, Dark Cloud 2 and Rogue Galaxy were superior.

    I don't even care anymore with Dragon Age: I coming, the Witcher 3 and other WRPGS that are way ahead of anything Japan has done since the PS2 days. People are excited for KH3 and I don't see why given Square's recent track record.

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    I only care about Dragon Quest XI and a new Final Fantasy by Hiroyuki Ito (the guy behind Final Fantasy VI, IX and XII). Sleeping Dogs: Triad Wars, which Square Enix is publishing, is also due for a proper reveal.
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  26. #23
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    Kinda unfair to narrow it down but ok.

    More appropriate question imo: "What isn't struggling in Japan that doesn't have the letters "DS" in it?"

    #IndieStation4 and proud of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Admartian View Post
    Kinda unfair to narrow it down but ok.

    More appropriate question imo: "What isn't struggling in Japan that doesn't have the letters "DS" in it?"
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  29. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black View Post
    a new Final Fantasy by Hiroyuki Ito (the guy behind Final Fantasy VI, IX and XII).
    Yeah I miss the old style of FF opposed to the modernized FF games.

    Im excited for Persona and Tales which both of them are coming to PS3. Big giants Square and Capcom have gone downhill.FFXV and KH3 were supposed to have a media event somewhere inbetween E3 and TGS Hashimoto said so far I heard nothing which is expected.

    More the fact Square's development times for games are just too long and when FFXIII released it wasn't a game that wasn't good for all the development time they put into it.
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