In the battle to determine the supreme video game console of the eighth generation, Sony’s PlayStation 4 has been doing incredibly well so far – or at least it has outside of Japan, anyway. The console was released in the West in November of last year and quickly became the fastest-selling console ever at its launch in the UK. In contrast, since its February release in Japan, the PlayStation 4’s sales numbers have been decidedly underwhelming.
Any number of articles on the web can seek to explain the reasons behind the PS4’s popularity overseas and Japanese consumers’ apparent indifference, but it seems like one game developer CEO is fed up with nonsense articles full of fluff and no depth. In fact, according to him, even junior high school students could have written most of the stuff that has appeared on some gaming sites! He, at least, is hoping for a more substantial analysis of the situation. More details to come after the jump.
What does one do to complain about the lack of truly insightful articles regarding the PS4 available for public consumption? Take to your Twitter account to protest, of course!
And that’s exactly what led Motoi Okamoto, a former director at Nintendo and current CEO and founder of Entersphere Co., Ltd., to go on a short Twitter rant over the span of about eight minutes.
It all started last week when Mr. Okamoto posted the following tweet to his personal Twitter account, in which he introduced a bookmarked version of an online article and lamented the fact that it lacked any meaningful content:
For reference, the article attempted to explain the reasons why the PS4 has been selling so well overseas and why it has only been met with a lukewarm reception in Japan. The author of the post attributed the situation to a number of factors, including…
- An overall decline in the number of home video game console titles as compared to in the past
- The reigning popularity of handheld game consoles like the 3DS and PSP, as well as cell phone and tablet games, in Japan
- The growing gap between the cost of development of new games and market expansion
- Japanese people’s preference for games made by Japanese developers (e.g. FPS games are not as popular in Japan as in the West)
- The continuing popularity of the PlayStation 3 in Japan
- Game developers’ initial hesitancy to invest in the ‘unknown’ PS4
Apparently, Mr. Okamoto was not impressed, and this wasn’t the first time he’d read an article subpar to his expectations. He then proceeded to let off some steam with five additional messages, which we’ve included below.
“Along with the PS3/PSV in Japan, the PS4 will probably take a different route from the West. Won’t sales of large-scale software in the West also gradually increase in domestic sales? But those kinds of statistics don’t appear in the article, or anywhere in the media.”
“Even though the rankings and sales of social games, including personal ones and media sites, seem to go up and down, because the tendency to follow trends is strong, in general articles with fairly good quality stats are going around as compared to ones about console games.”
“Too many articles about consoles games in Japan are based on personal thoughts, which are not true analyses. Junior high school students could have written them.”
“Regarding the ratio of domestic/overseas titles and the ratio of sales, I think the consumer levels of experience have greatly changed. Of course, there are a large number of people who still think that games developed domestically are the best. You should at least provide a graph of the number of titles and the amount sold.”
“Starting a number of years ago, there have been lots of articles and interviews revisiting Square Enix’s strategy to put lots of effort into localizing foreign games at the time, so I think it’s possible to have meaningful articles. Regarding the market for social games, SGI seems able to write articles of that caliber. The difference in levels is astonishing.”
Perhaps it’s time you took up a pen and wrote your own detailed analysis, Mr. Okamoto! We’ll be waiting to read your insightful comments. In the meantime, we welcome our own readers’ take on the popularity of the PS4 in the West vs. in Japan.