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Jetsetter E3 edition: The PlayStation 4 may not hit Japan in 2013

PS4-standing-and-controller

That just happened! E3 2013 that is. Even though the Los Angeles Convention Center shut the whole thing down just days ago, it already feels like the mad battleground that was the video game industry is a thing of the distant past. As the dust settles, it’s easier to get a clear view of E3’s defining trends. Even more than the push of new console technology, this E3 felt very focused on the globalization of gaming. Developers from around the world were on the ground. Poland’s City Interactive showed Lords of the Fallen, Spain’s Mercurysteam came in strong with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, and even China’s Snail Games set its sights on international collaboration with the Chinese/American joint Black Gold. It was enough to warm old Jetsetter’s heart.

This is Jetsetter, by the way, Digital Trends’ weekly column looking at the import gaming scene and the world of game development outside the US. It’s a big world we want to see what people are playing, how they’re playing it, and what they’re making next.

Will the PlayStation 4 make it to Japan in 2013?

The PlayStation’s home has always been Japan. No surprise considering it was Sony’s engineers like Ken Kutaragi that designed the machines. When a new device is made, it has always hit Japan first. The PlayStation 2 came out in March of 2000 in Japan, and not until the following October for the rest of the globe. The PSP and PS Vita both came out in Japan two to three months before their U.S. release. It’s tradition. The PlayStation 4 is a different beast, though.

For starters, the lead engineer behind the box is Mark Cerny, an American working alongside Japanese engineers. It also looks like PS4 may come out in the .U.S before Japan. “This E3 we confirmed that in the US and Europe we will be launching this holiday with the $399 price point,” Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida told CVG, conspicuously leaving his home country out of the equation. The question right now is how many Sony can manufacture. “[It’s] not like we are not launching in other territories – we are waiting to get more information about manufacturing quantities and demand in each market so that we are able to decide where and when outside of the US and Europe.”

It makes sense. Japanese gamers have largely turned away from home consoles in recent years, showing an overwhelming preference for portables like the PSP and Nintendo 3DS.

Darksiders

Nordic Games plots the future of Darksiders.

Austria’s Nordic Games wants in on the big budget gaming business, and it spent the scratch to do so earlier this year when THQ’s assets went up for sale. It purchased a number of franchise rights, but the biggest of the lot is a series with a cult following, namely Darksiders. Nordic’s business development maestro Reinhard Pollice told Joystiq that while things are in the works, it’s going to be awhile before any new games in these series materialize. “Darksiders is really big,” said Pollice, “We know we need a partner for that. An established development team that can pull out such a big action adventure. We obviously talked to former team members and, if they are free, we want to somehow involve them. If they are allowed because, you know, some of them found other jobs or are with Crytek now.”

“I would not look for a Darksiders 3 before two years from now.” Dang.

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India’s Milestone expands to Dubai and Singapore.

People may be buying fewer games on actual discs in America and Europe but the rest of the world is a different story. Consider India’s Milestone. The company works as a distributor of games from Capcom, Sony, and Electronic Arts in India, and it also operates Game4U, a line of stores that’s now rapidly expanding. The company is expanding its reach throughout Southeast Asia, as well as the Middle East, opening new headquarters in Singapore and Dubai. Will they pull a GameStop and hock a bunch of crappy t-shirts at you for preordering games? Is swag a universal language? Who knows.

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