The staggered launch was a mistake in retrospect, according to the PlayStation boss.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 has been a massive success for the company. The system has passed 106 million units sold, alongside 1.5 billion total units in software sales. Even following from a bit of stumble with the PS3 and the outright failure of the Vita, the PS4 has helped establish the Sony’s dominance over the gaming industry. But even in major success, there’s time to reflect, and one move that Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan sees as a mistake is the system’s staggered Japanese launch.
In an interview with Business Insider Japan, Ryan talked about the three month delayed release of the PS4 in the region. While he says there were reasons for that delay, in the end he admits it wasn’t a good idea, and they should have entertained other options (big thanks to Gematsu for translations).
“I cannot comment on the timing of release or launch markets,” said Ryan. “However, the three-month delay for the release of PlayStation 4 in Japan was a decision that I was deeply involved in. There was reasonable ground for that decision, but these days I do not think that was a good idea. It was a decision made after much debate, but there may have been other options.”
While Japan is still a major market for the gaming industry, the country’s home console business has flattened over the years, with audiences generally preferring handheld system (which probably why the Switch as already overtaken the PS4’s lifetime sales in the region). Whether or not releasing the system earlier would have made any difference to sales in the region is hard to say, but considering the size and ability of Sony as a company, it always did seem like an odd turn of events. It also sounds like it’s one they probably won’t repeat for the PlayStation 5.