It turns out that the PlayStation brand’s isolation of Asian markets isn’t just relegated to most of Southeast Asia.
According to a Bloomberg report, Japan (and most of Asia by that extension) is being overlooked in promotions for the upcoming next-gen console, with its local team “left awaiting instructions from California”. Since the PS4 underperformed in Japan, due to the rising global sales of the console, this seems like a move the whole of Sony is planning to pull off: focusing on the US market.
Furthermore, an unidentified senior member of the PlayStation team in California said that the US team is frustrated with their Japanese counterparts to move a lot more PS4 than needed. Some contracts for PlayStation Japan Studio’s developers are also not renewed, which alludes to the fact that the US branch does not need Japan-only games.
However, Sony has denied about this shift from the Japan market to the US market. Said one Sony spokesperson:
“[O]ur home market remains of utmost importance.”
The company plans to sell 7.6 million PS5 units by the end of 31st March 2021, its current fiscal year. Good luck with that, since 2020 is still the year where not many folks worldwide are prioritizing luxury items (and even parallel-importing them for scalper price) over necessities.
What This Possibly Means
Easy: it gives more context to the video below.
It makes more sense as to why PlayStation Asia is making the decision to keep their mouths shut to the media and content creators in regards to the PS5. There’s a chance they got their orders from the top brass, so try as they might, they are probably left with picking a viable market that’s available in this current 2020 climate: their home base, Singapore. And Hong Kong. It’s not an enviable position to be in, we must say.
And then there’s Microsoft and Xbox attempting to encroach the gaming market in Japan again. They’ve tried countless times with the Xbox and Xbox 360, but it was a noble failure. For all of Xbox’s exclusive RPGs like Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, and (timed) Tales of Vesperia which you can play on your Xbox Series X with new & faster load times, that wasn’t enough to capture the Japanese market.
With this obvious shade thrown by Sony towards its loyal Japan market, assuming it all comes full circle in the next few weeks, it seems that third time might be a charm. Protip, Microsoft: bring back PlatinumGames and make amends with them, make their games exclusive to your new box, get others like Capcom and Koei Tecmo on board, and just push hard. Learn from your past mistakes; it’ll do your reputation a whole lotta good.
In the meantime, this also means game stores are given free rein to charge poor folks in Southeast Asia absurd prices for PS5s at launch month (via Lowyat). Some laces are charging RM4499 for a Hong Kong set, when it should be less than RM3,000 by right. Shameful.
Top image: Tom’s Guide