During Sony’s Investor Day currently being held in Tokyo, Sony Interactive Entertainment President Andrew House talked about the PS4 business in Japan.
One of the analysts at the meeting mentioned that he heard concerns from third parties publishers about the move of the headquarters of Sony Interactive Entertainment to the U.S., and asked if there would be a negative impact for the Japanese industry.
House answered that firstly he did not hear any comment like that from any game developer Sony works with. That said, Sony’s integrated business model is offered equally to all of its partners across the world, so the place where the company is headquartered is not a relevant factor in the equation. There is no need for concern about that.
Answering to a following question, House explained that he thinks that it’s going to be “challenging” to bring the Japanese market back to PS3 levels “in the near future,” but the company has seen a “considerable improvement in the fortunes of the console industry” over the last twelve months in Japan, driven in great part by many Japanese creators embracing PS4 with games like Dragon Quest Heroes, the upcoming Final Fantasy XV and more.
According to House, we’re starting to see another great period where really strong Japanese content has a place to play.
Another encouraging factor is the health of the Japanese publishing community not just based on the domestic market, but the potential appeal of those titles abroad. It’s relevant to consider the kind of reception Japanese content is getting from U.S. fans, and there is great potential for Japanese content in the market. House hopes that it will lead back to a positive spiral in Japan and a growth in hardware sales. Sony is already seeing a little of that, but obviously they’d like to see more.
Another factor that could be interesting but is “tough to predict” is the appeal of PlayStation VR, that found support among the Japanese development community very quickly. From early signs, House mentioned, interest in the technology “could be an interesting path back to the console” for Japanese gamers.