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Sony still gauging whether PS4 can launch in Japan this year

PlayStation business must gather more data before committing, Yoshida says

Sony has pledged to release the PS4 across the US and Europe before 2014 but is still evaluating plans beyond those territories, a key company executive has said.

Company sources told CVG in May that Europe had been 'upgraded' as a priority market for PlayStation, in anticipation of a stronger push in that territory from Microsoft.

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With Sony expecting Xbox One to be advertised across Europe far more aggressively, CVG heard from a company insider that, if the PS4 launch stock is tight, the US and Europe will take preference over the perceivably "safe" region of Japan.

Now, in a new PS4 interview with CVG, Sony Computer Entertainment's president of Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, has said that Europe and the US are currently the only two confirmed launch territories in 2013. The PS4 release date in other regions will depend on a number of factors, such as component availability during system manufacturing.

"This E3 we confirmed that in the US and Europe we will be launching this holiday with the $399 (£349) price point," Yoshida said.

"But it's not like we are not launching in other territories - we are waiting to get more information about manufacturing quantities and demand in each market so that we are able to decide where and when outside of the US and Europe."

The Sony Worldwide Studios boss added: "Europe is a hugely important market and we do hear on Twitter that lots of people who are unhappy and say, 'why do US consumers get this on PS Plus and not in Europe?' And things like that all the time. So it's all relative, right? They see the other territories all the time. Now it's even easier to see what's available in other territories because of the internet."

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.

Elsewhere in his interview with CVG, Yoshida pledged that Sony would support PS4 for around ten years.

When Yoshida spoke on stage at Sony's acclaimed E3 press conference on Tuesday, he said that the first-party studios team has more than 30 PS4 exclusive titles in development, 20 of which will launch during the first year of PS4.

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