The late launch of the PlayStation 4 in Japan is, in part, a response to the lack of games aimed at Japanese consumers from Japanese developers, Sony Computer Entertainment senior VP Masayasu Ito told Polygon in an interview today.
Third-parties in Japan have been focusing their efforts on portable platforms like PlayStation Vita, Ito said in a roundtable discussion at Sony's headquarters today, and many haven't "embarked on the development of PS4 titles." The February 2014 launch of PS4 is timed with the availability of certain Japanese software titles, he said.
The Feb. 22 release date of PS4 will coincide with the launch of Sega's Yakuza Restoration and the beta of Square Enix's Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn for the next-gen console.
Ito noted that PlayStation 4 launch title Knack, which will be bundled with the console in Japan, is developed by Sony Japan Studio under Mark Cerny. Sony's Worldwide Studios, he said, including its Japanese studios, are hard at work on PS4 titles, but those are geared toward a global audience, not just Japan.
He promised a large number of Japanese titles will be continuously released after the system's domestic launch.