Editor’s Note: We originally posted this article stating the standard PlayStation 4 model was all that remained in Japan. We have adjusted this article to clarify it is the current standard- the PlayStation 4 Slim.
Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) have reportedly discontinued all but the current standard PlayStation 4 model in Japan.
GameWatch reports (translation: Google Translate) SIE are discontinuing most PlayStation 4 Slim, and all PlayStation 4 Pro, Glacial White models, and 1TB models will all be discontinued. This leaves only the standard PlayStation 4 Slim Jet Black 500GB model.
GameWatch also note the PlayStation 4 Pro was discontinued a mere four years after its release. Line production will reportedly be directed towards the PlayStation 5,which are described as still being in “extreme shortage”.
While there is no confirmation of discontinued models in the west, VideoGamesChronicle reported in late December that PlayStation Direct had a message that there were no plans to restock the PlayStation 4 Pro in the future. Shortly after their report, the message was removed, though the console was still unavailable for sale.
In an interview with The Washington Post in September, SIE CEO Jim Ryan stated “The PS4 community will continue to be incredibly important to us for three or four years. Many will transition to PS5, we hope if we do our job well, but tens of millions will still be engaged with the PS4.”
This is not the first time PlayStation 4 gamers in Japan have had bad news. In late December 2018, SIE Japan Asia President Atsushi Morita stated the then recent spate of censorship of anime-styled sexual content on PlayStation 4 games had been “to meet global standards.” This censorship was seemingly forced in Japan.
We delved into the rumor that Tencent had influenced Sony in some way to encourage censorship of anime-styled sexual content on PlayStation 4. While inconclusive, there were several suspicious connections, and actions taken by individuals shortly after acquisitions and deals.
Sony frequently cites global and community standards as reasons for their censorship practices. This has led to Japanese developers to release on other platforms, or create different versions.
This was the case with D3’s “Breast-Expansion Dungeon RPG“ Omega Labyrinth Life, which was released uncensored on the Nintendo Switch at launch. A censored version for the PlayStation 4 titled Labyrinth Life (omitting the “Omega” which is stylized as a busty girl in the logo) was released also at a reduced price to reflect the cut content.
While the PlayStation 5 is backwards compatible with 99% of PlayStation 4 games (with some titles offering free upgrades to the next generation), the next-gen console also forced the global “X to confirm, O to cancel” button configuration on Japan (who had it reversed for the previous four consoles). It should be noted that Japanese fans were not happy.
After a Bloomberg report claimed that PlayStation employees and developers were losing faith in Japan as a market, a Sony spokesperson denied the reports and stated the “home market remains of utmost importance.” Ryan also dismissed the claims as “inaccurate” and the region “remains incredibly important to us.”