One thing that the launch of the PlayStation 5 has received a lot of attention recently is Sony’s attitude and approach in the Japanese market. This is something that has been discussed quite a bit since Jim Ryan took over as the new President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment in 2019, as well as Sony’s relocation of its operations to Los Angeles.
This move has made the gaming community feel that Sony is focusing on Western customers, particularly the US, rather than Japan.
According to analyst Hideki Yasuda at the Ace Research Institute in Tokyo, he hypothesized that if Sony didn’t change soon, considering the current balance of power between Sony in the US and Sony in Japan, there would be. Microsoft’s Xbox will overtake Sony in Japan. This is certainly a pretty bold observation considering the lousy sales in the history of Xbox in Japan.
However, for a while now, Microsoft seems to be making a real effort with the Japanese market and Sony is doing the opposite.
According to Bloomberg, Xbox is having more and more discussions with Japanese game publishers about bringing their titles to Xbox. Koei Tecmo is one of the developers of the American company’s vision.
Koei Tecmo, known for the game genre Musou, is willing to work with Xbox.
Speaking to Bloomberg, the president of Koei Tecmo said he would be willing to consider releasing more games for Xbox if the US company continues to take an interest in the Japanese market.
Some unnamed insiders confirmed that Microsoft is seeking to conduct acquisitions in the country. Several small and large Japanese game developers have also said that they have been approached by Xbox for business acquisitions.
The representative of Japan’s most famous game newspaper Famitsu also told Bloomberg that Japan has long been not the main target of Xbox, but it seems that Microsoft is changing this. So, an analyst at Ace Research Institute concluded that Microsoft will not be able to overtake Sony in Japan anytime soon, but at least it has started to make changes and a big wave always starts with a change. small.
This of course raises the question of why Sony is no longer interested in the Japanese market.
According to many anonymous Sony employees revealed, the attitude within the company began to change after the PS4 had poor sales in Japan. PS4’s global sales were 113 million compared to the PS3’s 87 million, but it sold just under 10 million units in Japan, less than its predecessor.
This means the US accounts for 35% of sales compared with just 10% in Japan. The performance was too low, leading to change in the company. According to some PlayStation employees in Japan, plans to promote the PlayStation 5 at home were pushed aside.
Employees in Tokyo have said it is always time to wait for guidance from California. According to the former employees, the Japanese-based developer support team has dropped by a third from their peak period and the rotation contract of some PlayStation Japan Studio developers has yet to be extended. term.
Employees at the California headquarters also say that the US office believes the PlayStation business doesn’t need games that only work well in Japan. So all of these reports seem to indicate that Sony is shifting most of its attention to the most profitable place – the Western market.
Representatives of Sony, although they have confirmed that Japan is still a priority market, the Japan branch Gamesindustry.biz newspaper confirmed that this is not true.
The first argument of this article is that although the PS4 was released in November 2013, it is not until February 2014 that Japanese people can buy a genuine device.
The second argument is that after the fall of 2018, Sony has also become more strict in censoring games developed in Japan.
Sony has shielded the Trish and Lady characters in Devil May Cry 5, while the PC and Xbox ONE versions remain the same.
More specifically, Sony often cuts or covers some hot scenes or sexy characters in Japanese games. It’s worth noting that Sony doesn’t have any clear set of rules and games are censored on a case by case basis. This leaves many developers in a very difficult position not knowing that the game they create violates Sony’s laws or not.
The third argument is that although PS5 is the host country console of Japan, the video introducing this machine (PS5 – THE FUTURE OF GAMING SHOW) is not dubbed in Japanese, but only with subtitles. Also, the subtitle font is not very good, suggesting that Sony is just doing it poorly.
Japanese people feel that they are no longer important in Sony’s eyes when the video reveal the machine is not voiced and subtitles are sketchy.
The fourth argument is that since PS5, Sony will use the Western-style button press, ie X to browse, O to exit. If you have played many Japanese games, surely gamers are not strange that many games require pressing O to browse and X to exit.
The fifth argument is that due to manufacturing issues, the number of PS5s sold in the first batch in Japan was only higher than that of the PS3. This has many gamers who are unable to access console anytime soon. The analyst said that it is likely that the global launch of PS5 was simply a response to Microsoft’s attempt to hack this attack in Japan.
Finally, the article also shows a table of statistics showing that sales of Nintendo Switch machines increase strongly with each year. That proves that Japanese people are not bored with the country’s game machines, but it is because Sony is isolating its loyal customer base.