With the Playstation 4 release date out of the way for North America and Europe, Sony announced a surprising release date Monday for Japan on Monday. The next-gen console won't be made available in its own country until two months into 2014, three months after the initial launch.
The PS4 will be released in Japan on Feb. 22, 2014 with Sony citing the need to provide games that appeal specifically to the Japanese market. However, with the Wii U selling poorly and the Xbox One not launching in that market until sometime in 2014 as well, Sony clearly made the calculation to ensure that there is enough inventory available in the markets where there is competition.
Still, this delayed release is pretty much unprecedented when it comes to consoles manufactured by either Sony or Microsoft. Traditionally, their consoles come out before or at the same time as the rest of the world. The only other Sony console that did not launch in Japan first was the PSP Go.
As compensation for the delayed release, Sony is offering Japanese consumers the First Limited Pack which comes with a free download of Knack, the platformer from Mark Cerny and Sony Japan, plus a one-year extended guarantee on the console.
Interestingly, Sony will offer the PS4 alone for 39,980 yen ($401) or bundled with the PS Eye camera for 43,980 yen ($441). The release of the console in North America and Europe was announced to be released only by itself in order to gain great price competition against the Xbox One which will retail for $499.99 in the United States and comes with the Kinect sensor.
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