An interesting new report published by Bloomberg claims that there are concerns within Sony‘s PlayStation division over the company’s sidelining of the Japanese market.
Employees who chose to remain anonymous told Bloomberg’s Takashi Mochizuki that Sony viewed PS4‘s performance as disappointing in Japan, and it has since began focusing more on the United States. Japan-based analysts say that Sony’s shifting focus has become evident.
“The Xbox has a chance to make Japan its second-largest market after the U.S. if it takes the right steps for years to come,” said Tokyo-based Ace Research Institute’s Hideki Yasuda. “Sony’s attention is drifting away and fans have started to notice that.”
PS4 has sold under 10 million consoles in Japan – a number that puts it below the PS3. On the other hand, a sizeable chunk of PlayStation’s revenue comes from the U.S. However, Sony’s spokeswoman Natsumi Atarashi denied that Sony is overlooking Japan, and pointed out that the PS5 will first launch in its home turf. “Our home market remains of utmost importance,” she added. Fellow employees disagree.
Bloomberg quoted a senior member of staff at PlayStation’s California headquarters as saying that there is some frustration over the Japanese marketing team’s inability to sell more PS4s in Japan. Tokyo-based employees claim they’re stuck waiting for instructions from California.
Sony has reportedly reduced the size of its development teams in Japan. According to Bloomberg, a number of rolling contracts at PlayStation Japan Studio have not been renewed because Sony’s U.S. wing believes that it needs games that perform beyond Japan as well.
“It’s analyst consensus that PlayStation no longer sees the Japan market as important,” said Morningstar Research’s Kazunori Ito. “If you want to know their take on the Japanese market, you need to ask about it because otherwise Sony wouldn’t talk about it.”
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