By Fergal Barry-Murphy
*** See end of article for the full list of Playstation 4 Asia release dates ***
With the PlayStation 4 officially released across much of Asia today – and the Xbox One delayed in some countries until as late as September 2014 – Sony looks to have a clear edge over Microsoft in the region’s gaming console wars.
Sony’s PS4, which has already sold more than 2 million units after its release in the US and Europe, goes on sale in Hong Kong, Korea and Taiwan today, in Singapore on December 19 and in Malaysia on December 20.
No official release date has been announced for the console in some Southeast Asian countries, such Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, though reports suggest that it may be available in mid-January, well before the official Japan release date of February 22.
Sony’s console, which was always going to have the jump on the Xbox One both in terms of release date and price, now looks to be in a strong position to dominate the console wars in the region.
The Christian Post reports:
Xbox One will be further delaying its release in other countries as some places may not see the console until September 2014, which all but insures the PS4 will outsell them in that market.
Originally the Xbox One was to launch in 21 countries, but Microsoft lightened their load to just 13 come launch day. Initially these now alienated countries only had to wait until early 2014. Now, according to Geek, most of these countries will have to wait until July, and some until September to receive an Xbox One.
However, not everybody is so sure that the Xbox One is out of this race yet.
“As a Japanese company Sony is expected to continue to out-perform Microsoft in Japan – which is one of the world’s most lucrative gaming markets,” says Jon Russell, Asia editor at The Next Web. “But elsewhere in Asia there is little to choose between the two. The Xbox One is widely seen as more of an entertainment device for the home (which also plays games), whereas the PlayStation 4 is being talked up as the ‘hardcore’ gamer’s choice.
“To the average consumer there is little difference between the two, and gaming enthusiasts are likely to already have their preferred option based on what they’ve played/owned in the past. Looking across our staff at TNW, both consoles enjoy similar levels of support so it is tough to predict which will win out worldwide, let alone in Asia.”
So far it’s been a dead heat between the two consoles, with both passing the 2 million sales mark this month. However, with the holidays approaching and today’s official release of the PS4 to the mammoth Asian market, the figures could paint a very different picture come January.
“This [the later release of the Xbox One] is one area where Sony holds an advantage, and Microsoft could indeed be hurt,” says Russell. “That said, it is prioritizing getting the Xbox One to market early in key countries – plus there are plenty of ways to get products from overseas these days, so it seems unlikely that hardcore Xbox enthusiasts will be waiting for the official launch date if it is that late in their country.”
PS4 Asia release dates:
PS4 Hong Kong release date: December 17
PS4 Korea release date: December 17
PS4 Taiwan release date: December 17
PS4 India release date: December 18
PS4 Singapore release date: December 19
PS4 Malaysia release date: December 20
PS4 Japan release date: February 22, 2014
PS4 Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia release date: TBC, but we’ve heard reports of mid-January