This week's issue of Japan's Famitsu magazine has an article on a survey posted up on the publication's website asking readers what they thought about the big announcements at last month's Electronic Entertainment Expo. The result: Gamers over there think Sony won the show, much like many of their Western counterparts, although the games they're excited for are more than a tad different.
Out of the 506 responses Famitsu received, nearly three-quarters of them said that Sony's press conference was the best out of the primary events held in and around the show. Only 7 percent said Microsoft was best, while another 16 percent said that the Nintendo Direct event piqued their interests the most. One published comment, written by a male reader in his twenties, was typical of the feedback Famitsu received: "It's a shame that there weren't too many announcements for PS4-exclusive games, but it really impressed me how much cheaper the system's price was than what I guessed."
"A lot of people were paying attention to SCE, something you could really feel on the show floor as well," SMBC Nikko Securities analyst Eiji Maeda told Famitsu. "The PS4's price announcement at the conference was probably the most energized moment of the show. Talking to people on the floor, a lot of people felt that between the system's capabilities and its lack of used-game restrictions, SCE is the one company looking towards gamers the most. Microsoft generated a lot of attention at the show as well, but especially with the price difference between Xbox One and PS4, the reaction in Japan hasn't been all that big." (Indeed, a whopping 89 percent of Famitsu readers thought the Xbox One's $499.99 price tag was "high" or "a little high", while 60 percent said the PS4's price was "just right" and another 24 percent said it was on the low side.)
As for the games? Like you may expect, most Japanese gamers were excited about Japan-made titles, with a couple exceptions. Square Enix's Final Fantasy 15 was the game that caught survey respondents' attention the most often, followed by Metal Gear Solid 5, Kingdom Hearts 3, and the new Smash Bros. The top-ranked Western title was Watch Dogs, coming in fifth.
"I was really surprised by the overwhelming graphics," one reader wrote about MGS5. "The fact that it's open-world is also amazing!" Another was even more enthusiastic: "I felt this game offers something really powerful that only the next gen can produce, not just another case of the visuals getting better."
Hisako Akitani, owner of Tokyo-based shop Games Maya and a person whom Famitsu goes to for retailer opinion on a regular basis, was floored in general with what the next generation has to offer visually. "The PS4 and Xbox One both got unveiled at E3, but my first impression on both was that the hardware's even better than I imagined," she said. "I had figured that, when it comes to graphics, a lot of people would have been satisfied with the current generation and not really seek much of anything better. However, the sheer force behind the Xbox One visuals they showed was a whole other story. It was really impressive, like 'Is this what it'd be like if you made movies into games?'."