Sony made the controversial decision to not release the PlayStation 4 in its home country of Japan during the first release cycle late last year. Betting that its fanatical base of customers would still be ready and waiting months after the console’s first launch, Sony eschewed the Japanese market to ensure ample supply in other more competitive markets.
But Japanese customers finally got the opportunity to get their hands on the console this past weekend when the PS4 officially launched in the country on February 22. While we’re still waiting for official numbers from Sony, Japanese video game magazine Famitsu reported Tuesday that Sony’s bet paid off – big time. According to the magazine’s sources, Sony sold more than 322,000 consoles in Japan during its first two days on the market. This compares to sales of only 88,000 PlayStation 3 consoles during its first two days in Japan back in 2006.
Although Microsoft’s Xbox One has yet to launch in Japan, it’s a safe bet that the console will only move a fraction of the units sold by its competitor. Instead, Microsoft is focusing on strengthening its position in more competitive markets such as the UK, where the company just dropped the price of the console by £30. Microsoft is also preparing bundles worldwide that will give new purchasers a free copy of Titanfall.
With Microsoft already trailing Sony in terms of worldwide console sales, however, it’s unlikely that these late gestures by the Redmond company will be enough to close the gap.