PlayStation 4's SVP explains delayed Japan launch, cites domestic Vita success

The PlayStation 4 launches on November 15th. Well, it does in the US. For Japanese gamers, they're going to have to wait over three months before they're able to buy Sony's next-gen console. But why? A lot of Japanese gamers are not happy, and SCEJA's CEO excused the later launch, saying that the company needed more time to ensure the game selection was up to standard for Japanese audiences. However, it wasn't quite enough to quash complaints from its native fans. In a roundtable interview at TGS 2013 with Sony's SVP of PlayStation hardware, Masayasu Ito explained that in Japan, its portable devices continue to sell well -- in comparison to Europe and the US. Thus, the company decided to launch the PS4 in the west first, where there was already "much more excitement" about next-generation consoles. (It also explains why Sony Computer Entertainment Japan focused on refreshed Vita hardware and the Vita TV before this year's Tokyo Game Show even began).

"Until now, we've placed emphasis on the launch titles that are ready for Europe and the US... As I said, in Japan, portable devices are selling very well. So, first and foremost, gaming titles released in Japan would be first for Vita and portables. That's why the PS4 will come later."

However, that's not to say that Sony Japan's game studios aren't already at work on PS4 titles: Knack, for example, is being developed in the Land of the Rising Sun. "Our worldwide studios look at worldwide titles rather than directing attention to the Japan-centric titles. So what's being worked on in Japan is not Japanese-specific, but could (also) be applied on a worldwide basis." He added that Japan will see around 19 games at launch, with "continuous titles" appearing after that. As a note, both the US and European PS4s can expect roughly 33 games within a "launch window" that will last until the end of 2013.

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