Sony Computer Entertainment has determined Europe a high-priority territory in the next gen sales race and will ensure the PS4 launch is not delayed into 2014, CVG has learned.
A recent Edge article claimed that the console would be released in 2014 across the UK and other European countries. But an insider involved with PlayStation's business strategy now expects Microsoft will make more aggressive advances into Europe as it fights for market dominance.
The source told CVG that Sony, having learned hard lessons from the 360's first-mover advantage, will renew efforts to maintain its success in the region.
Despite the neck-and-neck global lifetime sales of the PS3 and Xbox 360 (both edging towards 80m units), the geo-breakdown of those numbers shows that Xbox's main business is in the US (40m) and UK (8m); two areas where it has been consistently dominant.
While PlayStation is hardly an insignificance in those two countries (about 25m sales in the US and 5m in the UK), it balances that with a healthy business across Japan and other parts of Europe. Although the chances of Xbox succeeding in Japan remain slim, its position across Europe could feasibly be strengthened.
In March 2012, the Xbox team revealed it had secured Phil Harrison's services as corporate vice president of the Interactive Entertainment Business.
At the time, Microsoft said Harrison "will not only lead the Microsoft Studios European organisation directly, but will also influence the broader performance of IEB's European business through strategic partnerships and by bringing culturally relevant entertainment experiences to Microsoft platforms, now and in the future."
Harrison's profile and knowledge of UK and European studios, along with his deep understanding of the commercial sensibilities of the region, could offer Microsoft a valuable perspective on how to succeed in the area.
Microsoft's new platform is to be revealed at the next Xbox event which takes place during work hours in the US, equating to prime-time evening hours across Europe, and unsociable hours in Japan.
With Sony expecting Microsoft to tackle Europe more aggressively, CVG has heard from a company insider that PlayStation is "prepared to do whatever it takes" to ensure there is no PS4 delay across Europe.
It remains unclear whether there will be a PS4 supply shortage that would affect its output across any of the main three markets, but CVG understands that, if the launch stock is tight, the US and Europe will be the priority over the perceivably "safe" region of Japan.
A Sony spokesperson has declined to comment.