News, Platforms, PS4

Kadokawa Boss on PS4: It’ll Keep Development Costs Low; Wonders if it Can Revive Consoles in Japan

by on January 1, 2014 3:26 PM 70

If there’s one man in Japan that fits the definition of “insider” is Hirokazu Hamamura, a legend between gamers in the archipelago of the rising sun. He’s the former editor in chief of Weekly Famitsu and now president of Enterbrain and Director of  Kadokawa Group Holdings, Kadokawa Group Publishing, Kadokawa Games and Walker Books. During an interview on the website of the Mainichi Shinbun he gave his opinion on the PS4.

First of all he mentioned that the delay in Japan makes sense:

The excitement for home consoles in the west is enormous, and western companies like Electronic Arts increased the number of titles available. On the other hand in Japan portable consoles are more mainstream. If you look at the priorities, releasing first in the United States and in Europe was a good business decision.

He also gave his opinion on the PS4 itself, and mentioned that this time around software development costs won’t raise:

Although looking at the graphics is important, the real point is the social aspect. Images and videos can be delivered at the touch of a button, and this will change the way of sharing information in the future.

This time being able to create games easily is a requirement for the PS4. I think development costs have doubled every time there was a new generation, but they won’t increase this time from what I hear from developers.

He finally concluded the interview asking himself if the PS4 can revitalize the home console market in Japan. That’s definitely a good question. Looking at how fast all available pre-orders sell out every time the beginning seems quite positive, but the next generation will definitely be a marathon and not a sprint.

Join the Discussion

  • T Dot M Dot

    I really hope PS4 does revive consoles in Japan. I miss those amazing JRPG’s from the PS2 era.
    Even though we in EU never get em the ones we do were epic

    • MasterofMidnight

      It won’t. Socially, it’s not acceptable for the Japanese to spend lots of time on home consoles. People are considered childish, lazy, and irresponsible if they spend any amount of time on home consoles. Which is why mobile is so popular. Consider it a sort of social loophole. It’s acceptable to play portable games on the bus and train to work. Just not at the home.

      • Giuseppe Nelva

        Except for the millions of actual gamers in Japan, that have no problems playing on home consoles.

        • MasterofMidnight

          Most of these millions are kids or otaku – people whom aren’t the most social of people in Japan. Portable consoles are played by all ages and both sexes. If you’re going to comment, please at least try know what you’re talking about (or the context of the conversation at hand).

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            Didn’t know that kids and otaku didn’t have money to spend or that they didn’t count. Aside from the massive generalization, which is stifling :D

          • MasterofMidnight

            It’s not generalisation. I live in Japan. My job has me teaching to Japanese kids AND talking to adult native Japanese on a daily basis. I talk to tens of people about gaming in Japan, and how socially acceptable it is. And I’m saying that, as a fact, the vast majority of home console owners are people below the age of University age. Once kids go to university, they are expected to drop gaming almost completely and ‘grow up’, as some in the country might say. Only portable gaming sells well above that age.

          • Stealth

            Dont bother with him, do yourself a favor.

          • MasterofMidnight

            Presumably, don’t bother with me, because you can’t handle someone who actually knows what they’re talking about, and their views are based on someone who lives in the Tokyo area, and studies native Japanese people’s views on video games?

      • Axe99

        They sold 20 millions PS1s and 23 million PS2s in Japan (and are pushing 10 million PS3s, which is impressive given its start) – there is definitely an audience there if the product is positioned appropriately, and if they got those numbers again, we’d have a lot more money (and therefore games) in Japanese console development.

        • MasterofMidnight

          There is, of course, and industry there for home consoles, but it’s just a fraction as of that in portable gaming. Most game developers will, naturally, go where the money is. Most of the games being produced in Japan for home consoles, which aren’t cheaper games aimed at the Otaku crowd, are games which are target as much, if not more so, at Western audiences.

      • jdp12

        Wasnt it like that in the west before the ps1 came out too? If marketed correctly a huge Japanese company like sony could surely change their minds

  • Stealth

    Sorry but Wii u revived consoles in Japan

    • Giuseppe Nelva

      Selling 100,000 units on Christmas after an abysmal year isn’t something you call “reviving” :D

      • Stealth

        sellign 100k when nobody else is but 3ds is reviving it.

        Abysmal year? Actually its been pretty damn good for a year 1. Outpassed most consoles.

        • Giuseppe Nelva

          Nobody else is selling because there’s nobody else. The PS3 has been out for 7 years and almost everybody in Japan that wants one has one. The PS4 isn’t out yet (but it’s preorders have been sold out four times), the Wii is dead, and the Xbox 360 has never been alive in Japan.

          • stealth20k

            3ds is selling. Thats it because its successful. PS3 has never been higher than 3rd 99% of weeks even when it was new.

            So people already have a PS3 when it hasnt been all that successful in Japan?

            “The PS4 isn’t out yet (but it’s preorders have been sold out four times),”

            We have no idea what preorder numbers are.

            Remember when you said vita tv would be successful because preorders sold out?

            LOL

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            Lookie lookie, multiple accounts.

            The PS3 has sold almost 10 million units in Japan. Let’s see how long it takes for the Wii U to get there.

            Keep going, you’re amusing, with both accounts, mind you :D

          • Stealth

            For some reason my main account glitched out, obviously its me. Not using it to agree with myself.

            PS3 has crawled to 10 million.

            Wii u is outpacing PS3 so not as long.

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            We’ll see. You seem to be very sure of your crystal ball. Personally, as long as Nintendo keeps counting almost only on first party games, I doubt they’ll outpace anything for long.

          • Stealth

            Crystal ball? no. Wii u is outpacing PS3 in Japan as of a month ago for year one. With bigger titles on the way in Japan than PS3 had year 2. The gap should only widden.

            Tell that to the 3ds.

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            Only, the 3DS has an enormous third party support, especially in Japan, but definitely not only there.

            The Wii U is a very different story.

            You do seem to be very confused :D

          • Stealth

            Enormous third party support? Compared to the DS its minimal at best.

            Wii U really isnt a different story.

            The story is it always takes Nintendo first party games to move systems.

            Considering lightning returns fell off the charts and now Super Mario 3d World has outsold it, and is moving systems. Its doing its job quite well.

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            Say hello to Monster Hunter, Dragon Quest (single player, not a MMO that will sell a lot less), Pazudora, Ace Attorney, Shin Megami Tensei and a lot of others. Of the ten best selling games for 3DS in Japan five (including the best selling one) were third party this year.

            For the Wii U, only one. And it was the last ranker.

          • Stealth

            Now whose making qualifers?

            Dragon Quest X has sold extremely well on Wii u.

            3ds is almost 3 years old, Wii U is in its first year. 3ds first party completely dominated Japan

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            “extremely well?”

            It’s not even in the top ten this year. It’s sold 170,000 copies overall on the Wii U since release. You know what kind of numbers a single player Dragon Quest game racks normally?

          • Stealth

            Being in the top 10 is irrelevant, that doeasnt take into account the install base.

            The top 10 is dominated by 3ds because its install base is essentially double everything else.

            Its one of the top sellers on Wii U in year 1.

            You do realize that while FF 11 might not have sold the most units, its been the most profitable right?

            I would not be suprised if DQ X is the most profitable DQ in a few years by far.

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            170,000 copies since release.

            Dragon Quest VII, which was a remake, sold 1.3 million. Dragon Quest IX sold almost 4.4 million. In Japan only.

            Just a small difference.

          • Stealth

            Install base plays a giant part in that but of course your the king of slanting…………..

            You realize DQ X is a year 1 Wii u game while IX on DS came out year 6 with a 100 million higher install base?

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            You do realize that 170,000 copies is just a little more than 10% of the console’s installed base? That’s a very small number for one of the most recognized brands associated with Nintendo consoles.

          • Stealth

            You realize thats actually pretty damn good considering past MMO install bases?

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            Which is the point. It’s a MMO, so it’ll sell rather poorly in comparison, and won’t be a console seller. Nintendo portables get the single player ones, which are definitely console sellers, and represent a lot better support from SE.

            Overally third parties haven’t embraced the Wii U, while they’re churning out a lot of hardware selling titles for the 3DS, which is why the 3DS is doing great. Nintendo is trying to keep the pace with first party games, but they’re simply too sparse to make up for the lack of 3rd party games. As Hamamura correctly said, producing a consistent number of 1st party games for both consoles is hard.

          • Stealth

            FOR an mmo its not selling poorly.

            Wii u in its first year has gotten more third party support including indies than most first years. You can look that up on reddit.

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            It’s funny to see how you skip topic when it suits you. We’re talking about the support the game gives to the console, not how much it sells “for a MMO.” it’s no system seller, by any stretch of the imagination. The Wii U doesn’t have third party system sellers, even more so in Japan, and that’s the point.

            It’s literally basing its whole hardware sale drives on first parties, and those are few and fa between, for obvious reasons. Nintendo doesn’t have infinite resources.

          • Stealth

            I was thinking the same thing about you. Considering you only post articles when they suit you.

            Yes, and for a year 1, the Wii u has had some of the best support ever for a console first or third party, especially in Japan.

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            Funny, you seem to think I should post article when it suits you and your agenda. Well sorry, but I have my own brain and schedule. You’re entirely free to make your own site and post the articles you want :D

            The second sentence is just laughable. The biggest third party game they had was a remake that didn’t sell that well anyway (220k copies).

          • Stealth

            I think you should report news balancedly. You dont. Your pretty notorious on N4G for that.

            The biggest third party game they had was not a remake ( learn what remake is) …….

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            Monster Hunter 3G HD was basically a remake. Japanese gamers sure bought it as such, in fact it didn’t sell well.

            You may want to learn what a remake is yourself, mind you. Because what it’s not is a straight port.

            I report news in a plenty balanced way. I’m afraid your personal taste is not an absolute representation of balance.

          • Stealth

            Do you even know what a remake is? I dont think you do.

            Didnt sell very well?

            “Capcom Describes Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate as a “Smash Hit””

            http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2013/05/capcom_describes_monster_hunter_3_ultimate_as_a_smash_hit

            “I report news in a plenty balanced way.”

            HAHAHAHAHAHA said by no one.

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            Aaaah I get it. Your idea of balanced reporting is marketing talk lol.

            Capcom defining something that sold 220k copies as a “smash hit” doesn’t make it so.

            I know what a remake is. You don’t.

          • Stealth

            My idea of balanced reporting is posting the good and the bad stories, which you simply dont do.

            So who doesnt believe a company now? who do you think you are? Sound familiar.

            If Capcom believes its own product is a smash hit based on sales well over 220k ( you have no clue how well it sold digitally), then you are beyond hope.

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            Who do I think I am? Someone that listens to more than just marketing talk.

            I post good and bad stories, but for some reason you’re here just to bitch at those that you don’t see as painting Nintendo in the most positive way. Wonder why.

          • Stealth

            Its nice to know your hypocritical when it suits you.

            In your dreams perphaps :P

            You only post articles painting Nintendo in the most Negative way. Wonder why.

          • Giuseppe Nelva
          • Stealth

            Wow an article from 3 months ago? You really do stay current.

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            You said I only post articles painting Nintendo in the most negative way. I just proved you wrong. Have a good day.

          • Stealth

            You do. 1 article is the exception, well within the standards of saying you only post articles in the most negative light. Especially when your only article was 3 months ago.

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            “You only post articles painting Nintendo in the most Negative way.” is an absolute sentence. By definition “Only” excludes the possibility of exceptions. Mind you, it’s not the only positive one, just an example pertinent to this topic.

          • Stealth

            Absolute sentence………..to you. If your last article painting Nintendo in a positive light was 3 months ago, then you only proved my general point.

            By the way how is Vita TV doing ;)

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            I suggest checking your dictionary for the meaning of the word “only.”

            Most of my articles are neutral. Not positive, nor negative.

          • Stealth

            Most of your Nintendo articles are extremely negative. Judging by your last positive one 3 months ago. Your known as the most bias news person on N4G.

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            You may also go look for the dictionary definition of “extremely” and “negative.”

            Because it sure doesn’t fit yours.

            I don’t think I’ve ever written an “extremely negative” article towards Nintendo, Ever :D

            As a matter of fact. I haven’t.

          • Stealth

            I think you have no idea what your talking about at this point.

            I thought you were leaving? you always need the last word huh? That must be a social fault of yours.

            I ask again, look at how vita is doing. Because it was sony you defended it vigourously, and then it bombed.

            Remember when you said 40k was great at launch, and it would improve?

            Its not even tracking anymore…….

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            Funny how you switch topics every time you’re proven wrong, without ever admitting that you’re wrong :D

            You mean the same vita that has sold over two million more than the Wii U?

            It’s doing so-so. Funny that you’d say it “bombed,” wonder what that says about the Wii U.

          • Stealth

            I am switching topics because I have already proven you wrong time and time again.

            Wii U is outpacing Vita’s first year and is selling better than the Vita TV every week.

            It completely bombed.

            http://www.dualshockers.com/2013/11/27/lightning-beats-mario-on-media-create-sales-charts-but-the-wii-u-gets-a-breather/

            “Are Japanese gamers starting to tire of everyone’s favorite plumber?”

            LOL

            Its just funny, everyone says you absolutely have to get the last word in. I see its true.

            Vita has also been out a year longer than Wii u. But when do you care about perspective……..

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            You have proven nothing wrong.

            It’s funny how you say that the Vita TV “completely bombed” when the Wii U sold as much or less a week for a long time. Did the Wii U “completely bombed” too?

            The Vita TV is simply a low-cost spin-off of an hardware, it bolsters Vita sales pretty well and it helps the installed base.

            I’m afraid the one lacking perspective is you.

          • Stealth

            Wii U was over 200 dollars more expensive and stayed competitive. Vita TV bombed immediately.

            But nice try once again trying to compare apples and oranges.

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            Stayed competitive? Now that’s a funny statement for a console that spent several week around the 3000 units mark. We’ll see after february if it stayed competitive.

            Personally, I hope it will. But I’ll retain some healthy doubts.

          • Stealth

            Vita TV launched at 40k, when sales are supposed to be at there absolute highest outside of a software launch.

            40k is all it could muster, then it became untracked……..Wii U has always been tracked.

            3000 units at least is trackable.

            Sure PS4 might sell well here and there year 1, but the highest spot it will ever achieve is MAYBE 2.

          • Stealth

            Quite frankly the only company successful in Japan on the Hardware front is Nintendo.

          • TalesOfBS

            Sorry but, by looking at most of the news you post here, you are extremely biased and negative towards any nintendo/microsoft console/games or third party game on nintendo/microsoft hardware.

            You seems to love to post news about X microsoft game/nintendo game/exclusive/hardware being surpassed by sony’s.

            You are VERY negative towards them at just everything.

          • Giuseppe Nelva

            Or maybe you just don’t like to read a perspective that doesn’t match yours, and can’t accept that such perspective can be valid, thus trying to hide it behind the accusation of bias.

            “I don’t agree with him. He must be biased!”

            Which seems to be the case.

            In your defense, that’s a very common attitude on the internet.

          • TalesOfBS

            I can clearly see your perspective:
            “Every other else sucks, except Sony”.

            Also, since you are a mod, you should be taking care of hateful comments against platforms instead of putting more fuel on it.

          • MasterofMidnight

            No, it hasn’t sold extremely well on the Wii U. Most of the sales were for the Wii version, not U. The game dropped off the charts pretty soon afterwards. Face it dude, one game for the Wii U being a success isn’t enough to suggest the console will suddenly take the world by storm. There’s a change the console will likely be selling better than what it was last year, but it’s going to take some serious work for the console to even reach the heights of even the PS3. The PS4 has its work cut out for it too.

          • MasterofMidnight

            And what about all the other 1st party Wii U titles? They didn’t last in the charts so long either.

            Zelda and past Mario titles failed to set the world on fire. You’re using just one single game, being released during the Christmas period, to celebrate the Wii U as a success?

            This is a marathon, not a sprint, my friend. The 3DS and Wii U are completely different. As I have stated before, the 3DS is a portable console. Portable consoles, by default, sell much more than home consoles in Japan, because the market for them is 5x larger.

            And that’s not a theory. That’s a FACT. I live in Japan. I travel on the trains every day here. For every 1 person playing a 3DS there are 20 people playing games on their mobile phones. iOS gaming is a much bigger business than the 3DS or home console systems are, which is why certain companies like Square Enix are shifting more towards mobile gaming in Japan.

          • MasterofMidnight

            Lets do the math. PS3 has sold 10 million (apparently) in 7 years.

            The Wii U has, at best, 1.5 million in Japan.

            That means the Wii U needs to sell another 8.5 million in 6 years in order to be in level with the PS4.

            In order to do that, the console needs to be consistently selling over 110,000 units per month, with no slumps at all.

            On average, not even the 3DS models together are making that many units. It’s not likely the Wii U will.

          • MasterofMidnight

            I’m sorry, but Giuseppe is right in this point. the Wii U, until the
            last 2 weeks, has been quite frankly an embarrassment in the industry,
            doing even more poorly than the PS3 ever did. Most game stores barely
            have any games for sale for it at all, and there are already tonnes of
            2nd hand ones for sale because people who bought one, sold them off not
            long afterwards.

            The only reason the console is selling well this
            past 2 weeks is because of a serious push in advertising by the system.
            There are adverts on the television all the time right now. Nintendo
            are throwing everything they’ve got to sell the system, because it can’t
            sell without a serious push. And with the PS4 and X1 around the corner,
            they’ve a very limited time frame to get a good install base in Japan.

          • PhantomVash808

            You mean with the PS4 around the corner right because everyone knows the X1 will be DOA in Japan.

  • peterpansyndrome94

    You can never have a sensible conversation with a retarded wiitard kid….that’s for sure.

  • PrinceHeir

    holy moly i was expecting alot of people here, but it seems it’s a mod and user having a “friendly” match!

    En garde everyone!

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    Yes, it will, Hirokazu. It just won’t be as soon as you hoped, since all great things take time to take effect. Unless launch day is the miracle you’ve been waiting for in Japan and goes as such, you’re gonna be waiting until E3 for Japan to show major interest in home consoles again. Let’s hope Nintendo can help the situation, much less from Microsoft.

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