Sony announced the Asian launch window for the PlayStation 4 today, revealing that the next-gen console will arrive in the region sometime this December. Assuming that time frame holds, this puts the PS4 launch in South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan approximately two months ahead of the Japanese release on February 22nd.
The platform holder confirmed the late 2013 launch window for the PlayStation 4 at their pre-Tokyo Game Show press conference earlier today. Unfortunately, Sony did not provide an exact release date or price for each market.
While the decision to push back the launch of the PlayStation 4 in their home country is bound to ruffle some feathers among the Japanese gaming community, it is an extremely smart business plan. Placing the next-gen focus on the Western and wider Asian markets first, puts the PS4 in a much better supply position to compete with Microsoft in the limited number of countries where the Xbox One is being released this year.
Additionally, history dictates that Sony has nothing to fear from Microsoft in Japan, and even if they did the Xbox One is not expected to arrive there until mid to late 2014 at the earliest. The reality of the situation is that the Wii U will prove to be the only real console competition against the PlayStation 4 in the Japanese market, and it has not exactly been flying off the shelves over the past year.
With all that said, it still feels really strange to see Sony neglect their home turf when it comes to the PlayStation 4. It is undoubtedly the right move, but it really hammers home exactly where home consoles stand in today’s Japanese video game market.