It’s been a slow start for Sony in its home territory. Worringly so, in fact, to the point where it looked as though interest in home consoles could actually have bottomed out entirely. Over the last month or so, though, a string of new releases launching on old and new formats at once really helped hammer home just what a difference the new hardware actually makes. Yakuza 0, Dragon Quest Heroes, God Eater Burst, even Dead Or Alive 5: Last Round… the new gen versions of each managed to debut in the top five and it seems that the need to play the best versions of these (mostly) great games is finally starting to kick in. Add to that the big exclusives like Bloodborne and The Order: 1886 and it’s not hard to see why, as of the time of writing, PS4 has been the best-selling console in Japan for a solid month.


While that’s great news both for Sony and for Japanese players, it’s important to consider what it means for the rest of the world. Slow uptake on the new hardware has seen a lot of developers sticking securely with older consoles up until now, with some of the obligatory PS4 ports that have come out feeling phoned in, like they’ve been given the same level of care and attention that EA would lavish on the Wii versions of FIFA. But with sales spiking, PS4 is now becoming a viable lead platform how Japan will adapt to the new challenges and development times that come with this new hardware is another matter entirely, but it’s clear to see that the trailblazers are already setting a pretty damn good example for the smaller studios to follow. While it’ll take us a while to really see the effects of this change (just look how much longer than expected it is taking Western teams to get their PS4 games to market), players the world over can look forward to the same kind of Japan-developed curios that have made every other PlayStation platform worth owning.
This is the actual start of a new generation. And what better game than Bloodborne to usher it in?
The first of these is already here, of course, and I’m all over it. Bloodborne isn’t the first PS4 game from a Japanese studio (Knack was there at launch, and Koei Tecmo has shown strong support) but it is the first real triple-A Japanese game to break the West and a savage reminder of the kind of games we’d be missing out on if Japan wasn’t coming around to the idea of a new console generation. While Wii U holds relatively steady and Xbox One gets ignored just like its forerunners (Microsoft’s new
console is regularly outsold by Vita TV, to put its failure in perspective), Sony is riding a wave of successes that will help put it back on top on home soil. This is the tipping point. This is where it all kicks off. This is the actual start of a new generation. And what better game than Bloodborne to usher it in? The real PlayStation 4 starts here…

IMPORT WATCH
DRAGON QUEST HEROES
One Piece, Gundam and even Zelda have all enjoyed great success with Musou spin-offs and unsurprisingly, Dragon Quest’s characters and monsters make it a great fit for the template. It’s still flying high in the Japanese charts and is one of the best-selling PS4 games there so far it’s getting a localisation later this year but if you can’t wait, gameplay is easy to understand and importing has never been easier.