By Paul Kainoa Vigil / April 29th, 2015
Nedgame, a gaming retailer based in the Netherlands, recently published a product page for Tales of Zestiria on PlayStation 4. The above image was captured by RPGSite and posted to their Twitter account. If one attempts to visit the product page (sourced at the closing of this article,) nothing will be available to viewers.
Keep in mind that there’s been no official statement on the legitimacy of this listing. Right now there’s no other word or media corroborating such an idea. It’s simply best to wait and see what happens.
But, such an idea is worth thinking about for a number of reasons. To begin with, the platform choice for only (known) version of Tales of Zestiria is somewhat contentious. Some gamers in the West weren’t exactly pleased with the choice of console for reasons including simply deciding to their put PlayStation 3’s in storage (since fewer new games are coming out for it) and for complaints regarding the perceived graphical quality of the game. It’s worth noting that the PlayStation 4 continues to be a strong seller in America according to market research group NPD, while in Japan the adoption for the PlayStation 4 is weaker. This explains why games like Yakuza: Ishin, Yakuza Zero, and Star Ocean 5 among others are/were cross-generation and being developed for both PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Even Persona 5 was originally announced for PlayStation 3, and a PlayStation 4 version was confirmed a while after the game was officially unveiled. Do note however that the question of Zestiria on PlayStation 4 was broached to Series Director Hideo Baba, who confirmed after the most recent Taipei Game Show that there were no current plans for Tales of Zestiria for the PlayStation 4 at the time.
The relatively weaker success of the PlayStation 4 in Japan could be attributed to a number of factors: the rise and profitability of mobile gaming, the recent implementation of a value-added tax hike, and a lingering recession that makes more costly entertainment purchases less attractive than they otherwise might be (thereby making these games harder to profit from for the companies that develop them.) Generally, this can be a problem for “mid-tier development budget” titles like some of the games listed above. They have the unique and unfortunate perception of being both costly and servicing too niche an audience to make a satisfactory return from localization. So, while on the surface it may seem obvious to keep in mind Western buying habits when developing and deciding to localize games (noted Western success unexpected by companies include Xenoblade Chronicles, Project X Zone, Tales of Xillia and Bravely Default among others,) some companies will feel reticent if for whatever reason the game is deemed to be a risky investment.
It’s worth noting that a while ago, a listing for Tales of Zestiria also temporarily appeared on Steam. While Japanese companies don’t exactly shy away from PC gaming or development (Capcom in particular has produced quite a few PC ports of notable games this past generation, with arguably mixed results,) many of the games specifically developed for traditional gaming consoles are titles that PC gamers have expressed interest in playing too. This is probably evident with the success of the PC port of Valkyria Chronicles, and Game Arts recently soliciting opinions for PC ports of their catalog of games. As of the last couple of years, Bandai Namco have been increasingly aggressive in placing their games on Steam, though this of course does not apply to all of their titles.
Action role-playing gameBandai Namco EntertainmentPlayStation 4Tales of Zestiria