It’s been an odd weekend for the tech industry.
Sony (NYSE:SNE) has already sold more than 2 million PS4s worldwide, but hasn’t launched the console in Japan. Sony is waiting until February to release the system in its home country, citing a current lack of Japanese-oriented games. If you consider Japanese gamers’ history, Sony might have a point. I can’t see too many of them racing to stores for "Assassin’s Creed IV." Even so, unless Japanese developers have something up their sleeves, I can only think of a few games that cater to the Japanese market: "Dynasty Warriors 8" (which is already available on current gen anyway), “Dream Club: Host Girls on Stage” (a dating sim; those are hugely popular in Japan and traditionally stay region-exclusive), plus sudoku and puzzle games.
Nothing particularly interesting. Which raises the question - do we believe Sony? I’d wager the company might want to ensure its home country gets the third or fourth hardware run, which should be flawless. I can’t say it’s anything more than speculation, but Sony’s “official statement” makes little sense.
Though worldwide scarcity is probably Sony’s marketing strategy, the console isn’t the only piece of hardware facing a supply shortage.
Motorola, a division of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) fumbled its Moto X Black Friday sale. The smartphone was listed at $350 off-contract (a $150 discount). But the company’s customization site crashed, leaving many orders for the phone unfulfilled. Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside issued a public apology, and promised to reinstate the sale on both Wednesday and next Monday. The apology was merely a nice gesture, but the sale extensions were smart business. Customers were frustrated that they couldn’t order the phone on Cyber Monday, but now they’ll have two more chances to order at the discounted rate.
Speaking of customer frustration, Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) has caused some ire and confusion with its new sports titles. Kinect 2.0 users are reporting that the publisher’s next-gen sports games are taking advantage of voice capture - by handing out penalties for cursing.
That’s either going to cut down on local multiplayer trash talk, or get a lot of Kinects bashed against the floor. Hopefully not the latter.