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Tuesday, 25th February 2014
In Japan Entertainment News,

PS4 launches in Japan

The launch of Sony's latest games console the PlayStation 4 saw enormous queues forming outside gaming shops in Akihabara on Saturday (February 22nd 2014).

Tokyo's electric town was a hive of excitement as lovers of the pastime lined up for the opportunity to be among the first to get their paws on the new console.

Thousands more international fans tuned in for the live stream of the launch event at Sony's HQ, which featured appearances from chief executive Andrew Hourse and PlayStation president Shuhei Yoshida.

Developers from the much-anticipated Final Fantasy and Yakuza games were also in attendance and reviews were presented of the entire PS4 launch line-up, with high praise for the Yakuza sequel and the Dynasty Warriors: Xtreme Legends game.

However, commentators have been critical of the fact Sony's domestic market is receiving the console a whole three months after excited gamers in the US and the UK lined up for the new PlayStation, with many claiming it shows how Japan's games market has changed over the past ten years.

While there was plenty of excitement in Akihabara on Saturday, analysts recalled images from 2002 when riot police had to be called in to placate fans on the launch day of the PlayStation 2, which remains the best-selling console in history.

Excuses about the local development industry being unable to support the machine until now left critics unimpressed, with many pointing to the rapid increase in mobile gaming as the console market's downfall.

Handheld gaming is now more popular than ever, and clusters of Japanese people playing on their Nintendo DSs and mobile phones in public areas are still a very common sight, particularly in Akihabara and other areas of Tokyo.

For those who want to experience Japan's hyper futuristic side, the Panasonic building and the Sony building demonstrate what electronics consumers have to look forward to in the coming years.

Written by Graham McPherson