Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida Explains the Strategy Behind the Japanese PS4 Launch, PS Vita and PS Vita TV

Many theories are surfacing about what happened on Monday at the Sony Computer Entertainment Japan and Asia press conference, where the company announced the release date of the PS4 to be February the 22nd, 2014 and two new models of the PS Vita that will instead launch first in Japan.

Between the wild theories, there are a few men that actually know the strategy behind the announcement and one of these men is SCE Worldwide Studio President Shuhei Yoshida, who gave a nice rundown of Sony’s reasons and plans for its platforms as part of a rather long and interesting interview on the Japanese website 4Gamer.

Below you can find a summary of the most relevant points:

  • Sony wanted to have an absolutely solid release for the PS4 in Japan instead of launching in a hurry.
  • There was the risk to struggle in the Japanese market if there were no strong Japanese titles ready for launch. With a release on February the 22nd the console will be able to count on titles like Yakuza: Ishin, Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends and the beta of Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn right out of the shelves.
  • Ideally Sony would have liked to launch in the same time frame as the rest of the world, but the worry of shortages and the large number of pre-orders exceeding expectations contributed to the decision of launching in Japan at the beginning of next year.
  • Yoshida-san expects to have 19 Launch titles in Japan between first and third party.
  • The PS Vita had a successful period since the beginning of the year in Japan. The decision to release a new version and the PS Vita TV was made in order to accelerate that “good flow”.
  • Yoshida-san hopes that the new models and the newly announced titles will increase the success of the Vita in Japan, and then the momentum will spread  to the rest of the world.
  • There’s a precise meaning behind the PS4 launching first in the west and the new PS Vita models launching first in Japan. In the west home consoles are more popular, while portables are more popular in Japan. Yoshida-san hopes that both sides will influence each other eventually.
  • If both the PS4 and the new PS Vita models were released simultaneously everywhere, there would be an excessive burden on customers.
  • Sony still consider Japan a key market. The delayed release of the PS4 was simply a result of the analysis of the market situation of each region and a matter of distributing resources in the best way.
  • Yoshida-san feels that the PS Vita TV is a “Challenging product” and he was looking forward to the day of the announcement.
  • The project to create the PS Vita TV started around the summer of 2011. Since then a lot of trial and error has been done in house before it finally took the shape we see today.
  • There are currently 100 PS Vita titles that will work with the PS Vita TV, and a “significant percentage” of future titles will work with it as well.
  • According to Yoshida-san, the PS Vita TV is the perfect introductory machine for those that can’t or don’t want to buy a PS4 yet, but want a console that offers games and video services at the same time.

It definitely sounds like Sony has a very precise idea on how to handle its twin platforms (or maybe we should consider them triplets?) in the future, and it’s good to hear that the company still considers Japan a key market. It’s also also quite unsurprising, despite what some slightly misguided and maybe a tad sensationalist journalists wrote.

Will the plan be crowned by the success Yoshida-san hopes? Is it all part of “Shuhei’s master plan” as the PS4’s Lead Architect Mark Cerny likes to say? We’ll have to wait and see about that, but things are definitely looking quite good.

(photo courtesy of 4Gamer)

Join the Discussion

  • foureyes oni

    pure awesomeness!

  • TheExile285 ♜

    “If both the PS4 and the new PS Vita models were released
    simultaneously everywhere, there would be an excessive burden on

    Makes sense.

    “According to Yoshida-san, the PS Vita TV is the perfect introductory
    machine for those that can’t or don’t want to buy a PS4 yet, but want a
    console that offers games and video services at the same time.”

    Not sure how I feel about that statement. More Vita games being sold is good though.

    • ruefrak

      To me this thing is a way for people to play all those indie games coming to PS4 and Vita next year without having to spend $400 for a new console. I like how a majority of future Vita games will be compatible which translates into “All those gimmicky touch controls will be gone.”

      • SirTapTap

        Well, or they’ll just implement alternative controls. I don’t mind touch controls but I often wish physical controls only were an option in almost all games. Especially the “tap the screen anywhere” which should obviously just be a button what the heck.

      • SwappingFrom360toPS4

        I would like to see developers implement 2 different control schemes.

        1 control scheme for PS Vita, let’s call it ‘Handheld’ mode

        and the other for Vita TV, let’s call it ‘DualShock’ mode

  • Elronza Williams Jr.

    Vita TV is a stupid idea! I own a PS Vita 3G that I have owned since launch and Sony should have just released a HDMI cable to work with the PS Vita. I own an Nvidia Shield and like it or not but the fact that I can use either an HDMI cable or MirrorCast to play my games on the TV using my Nvidia Shield itself instead of buying yet another console like Sony’s stupid plan is far better.

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      Someone owning a Nvidia Shield calling anything else a “stupid idea” is ironic, to say the least.

      • Elronza Williams Jr.

        Hey not my fault Nvidia made a far better product!

        • Ω GUNTZ
        • Giuseppe Nelva

          I think you need to read every part of the articles you cite. It helps in not making yourself look like a fool, if calling people “fan bitch” didn’t make you look like that enough 😀

          “when only a few thousands units are shipped”.

          Whoops 😀

          • Elronza Williams Jr.

            He stupid whore that was the first shipment till this day they sell very well!

          • WAZEER


          • Elronza Williams Jr.

            I have no reason to cry stupid ass bitch! I own both a Vita and an Nvidia Shield so I’m able to appreciate what they both have to offer stupid fan bitch!

          • Elronza Williams Jr.

            And here are the Nvidia Shields specs which are far better than the PS Vitas:

          • Elronza Williams Jr.

            And here are the PS Vita’s specs, which the PS Vita itself is a form of a tablet although a highly restricted one by Sony and use’s mobile parts.But you fanbitches are too stupid to notice that!

          • WAZEER


          • Elronza Williams Jr.

            Also dumbass while Remote Play is some dream for you to only come when the PS4 releases. I have full remote play/Streaming over my internet anywhere in the world right now thanks to my Nvidia Shield!

    • ruefrak

      I don’t think sitting there with an HDMI cable stretching from the Vita to the TV is really the solution. It would be like having a wired controller all over again, except now since tv’s are much bigger than they used to be, you sit even further back making the wire even longer. I like the idea.

    • John McSane

      You bought a Nvidia Shield? You sir, are the stupid one. First time for me ever, hearing of anyone actually buying that piece of crap.

      • Elronza Williams Jr.

        While I love both of my handhelds the Nvidia Shield is far better than the PS Vita in a number of ways!

    • Dexter Morgan

      i’m so glad people like you don’t run Sony

      • Elronza Williams Jr.

        If I ran Sony it would be far better than it is now you petty fan bitch!

    • Ω GUNTZ
  • KuchikiSentou

    And yes, the PSVita TV is a VITA.
    I hear some sections of people saying it’s not, when it absolutely is.

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      It’s because of some rather clueless journos that when the thing was announced completely misinterpreted it and wrote that it’s just a box to which you attach your Vita. Unfortunately they’re rather big, other than clueless, and it stuck with some people.

    • Erimgard

      It’s definitely a Vita, but it’s unable to play a lot of very key Vita titles which hampers its effectiveness as a cheap Vita.

      • KuchikiSentou

        It’s not “a lot”.

        • Erimgard

          Really? Here’s a list of all the retail games confirmed for Vita TV followed by the list of the top ten best-selling Vita games to date….There is zero overlap between the two lists:

          Compatible with Vita TV

          Atelier Meruru Plus: The Apprentice of Arland
          Atelier Totori Plus: The Adventurer of Arland
          BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend
          Dead or Alive 5+
          Demon Gaze
          Dragon’s Crown
          Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends
          Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable
          Final Fantasy X HD
          Final Fantasy X-2 HD
          F1 2011
          God Eater 2
          Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R
          Lumines Electronic Symphony
          Malicious Rebirth
          MotorStorm: RC
          Muramasa Rebirth
          Persona 4: Golden
          Ragnarok Odyssey
          Ratchet & Clank QForce
          Rayman Origins
          Soul Sacrifice
          Soul Sacrifice Delta
          Toro’s Friend Network
          Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
          Valhalla Knights 3
          Ys: Memories of Celceta

          Top Ten Vita Games

          Uncharted: Golden Abyss
          Black Ops: Declassified
          Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation
          Persona 4: The Golden
          LittleBigPlanet Vita
          FIFA Soccer
          Need For Speed Most Wanted
          Hot Shot Golf: World Invitation
          Rayman Legends
          Mortal Kombat

          • KuchikiSentou

            It plays PSP ans psone titles, so no big deal. Declassified lol.
            VITA’s biggest title this year is God Eater 2 and gamers can have entry at under $100.
            Worry about that around the time it heads West. Those titles are more West-focused.

          • SwappingFrom360toPS4

            There is a list on the Japanese PlayStation Site, 1300 games*

            100 PS vita games

            600 PSP games

            600 PSP classic games

            *at launch… i’m sure more will be added over time, especially once the DualShock 4 is supported, meaning many more PS Vita games may become playable.

          • ruefrak

            Wait. Rayman Legends is one of the top selling games? It has only been out a couple of weeks. I’d get a VitaTV just for Dragon’s Crown and Rayman Origins on a big screen without having to buy a new copy

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3


    • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

      why the downvote? isn’t there such thing as freedom of speech anymore. oh wait..


    Actually Micro-shaft is all
    about leading from behind. They wait for a genre to populate then they
    come in from behind and fill it with BS to create the aura of a winner
    until they are the only ones left to become the last man and a MONOPOLY.
    It is what they did with Windows OS when IBM OS/2 was a lot better and
    Apple was just a niche’ market.

    So I am not surprised that they have a good share of the N/A market.
    Hell Xbox-360 is just a Mac Game console running Windows for PPC at its
    core. And now X-box One is a clone of the PS4 with less expensive
    hardware but a higher MAC style pricing strategy.

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