Three months after the PS4 launched in North America, it has launched in its home country of Japan. The PlayStation brand has a huge presence in Japan, whereas the Xbox brand does not. The PS4 already had a comfortable sales lead, but with the Xbox One not impacting Japan, that PS4 sales numbers are going to eclipse Microsoft’s box. To combat this, Microsoft has dropped the price of the Xbox One, and included the flagship title Titanfall.
Oddly, the Japan launch appears to be a different affair than the North American launch we all survived back in November. Instead of frantic gamers running between Best Buys and GameStops on release morning, many Japanese gamers lined up to receive pre-order tickets which allowed them to go home and come back at release. Back in October, pre-order stock almost immediately sold out, however, reports suggest that the Japanese retail stock didn’t do the same upon the February 22 release. Reportedly, the PS4 still sold quickly, and used the weekend to deplete its stock. Now, Sony is already restocking units — and they’re still selling. Hard numbers have not yet been released, but it’s safe to assume that the PS4′s sales lead on the Xbox One has significantly grown since last week. In fact, Microsoft appears to have responded to the Japanese launch by releasing a new Titanfallbundle and dropping the price.
Unfortunately, the price drop — from £430 to £400, what amounts to about $50 – and bundle are only currently slated for the UK market, but it wouldn’t be surprising if that’s simply a testing ground for a similar price drop and bundle to release stateside. While a $450 Xbox One, Kinect, and Titanfall package is still not as cheap as the $400 PS4, the $50 pill should be easier for gamers to swallow considering the console comes with a Kinect and what is essentially the only flagship (semi) exclusive available at this time. The cheaper bundle releases this Friday.
So, while we don’t have hard numbers just yet — expect them to be disclosed soon — it’s safe to say the PS4 just gained an even larger lead over the Xbox One. Regardless of your console preference, more sales for one or the other not only means there will be a larger online community to game with, but it paints a picture for the portion of the populace that has yet to commit to a console. If the PS4 is painted as the better purchase due to the higher sales figures, then that will only snowball the sales, causing more people to assume the PS4 is the better choice. However, if Microsoft can replicate the UK price drop and bundle, the PS4′s popularity may not have a large enough effect to offset the Xbox One’s “free” game and fancy voice-control camera.