At the PS5 games event Sony announced a ton of games. From Spider-Man Miles Morales to Resident Evil 8 there’s something for everyone. It ended with Sony revealing what the PS5 looks like as well and like past efforts, it looks exceptionally striking.
Nonetheless, the sheer glut of games masks an underlying problem at Sony. Over the course of the PS4 era it has repeatedly failed to get games to market in countries like India on time.
Why does this matter? Well despite improved Internet speeds courtesy of competition brought on by the likes of Reliance Jio, data caps are prohibitive in India. More so when you consider that patch sizes of certain games are larger than the game itself. This makes physical distribution extremely important in markets that don’t have generous bandwidth limits or where an uncapped Internet connection is too expensive. Granted Sony even showed off the PS5 Digital Edition but it’s unlikely to have many takers in markets like India. And it’s not like you can depend on the PS Store in India to buy games reliably either. The reason why PS Store prepaid currency cards and PS Plus subscriptions from game stores have many takers in India as opposed to buying from the India PS Store with your credit or debit card has to do with persistent payment gateway issues that have existed since the launch of the PS Store in 2010.
While Sony has made strides of late what with Death Stranding and Days Gone releasing in India on time, as well as The Last of Us Part 2 slated to hit stores on schedule for its June 19 release date, it is crucial not to forget all the times the company did not make its games available in India for one reason or another.
Would PS5 games be any different? Every Sony PS4 game delayed or cancelled for India
- Infamous: Second Son and The Last of Us: Remastered – Due to cash flow issues facing Sony’s then distributor Milestone Interactive, both games were delayed by approximately a month each.
- LittleBigPlanet 3 and Driveclub – These two made it to India three months or so after launch as Sony switched over to self-distribution severing its 10-year partnership with erstwhile distributor Milestone Interactive that had financial trouble.
- Tearaway Unfolded – Sony opted not to bring this charming platformer to the PS4 as per its September 9, 2015 release date with retail sources citing poor anticipated demand. It did show up three months later though.
- Until Dawn – This horror title skipped store shelves in India at the time of its August 26, 2015 release date, and eventually released a couple of months later. No reason was given.
- Gravity Rush Remastered – The port of one of the PS Vita’s finest games was slated for a February 3 2016 release date. This didn’t happen with sources citing poor sales potential. However much like Tearaway and Until Dawn, Sony brought it albeit nearly two years later.
- Ratchet and Clank – Sources claimed a lack of demand and Sony’s restructuring after the departure of PlayStation boss Atindriya Bose, laying waste to any plans of the game making it in time for its April 20, 2016 release date. It finally hit the shelves months after at a discounted price of Rs. 2,750.
- Horizon Zero Dawn – Guerrilla Games’ open-world masterpiece showed up in India a week after its March 1 release date with no reason for its delay given to retail.
- Everybody’s Golf – The latest entry in the long-running golf franchise was due to for an August 30, 2017 release in India which was curtailed due to lack of customer interest allegedly. Sony India finally deemed it worthy of importing in December of that year at a reduced price point.
- God of War – The special and collector’s edition variants of the 2018 smash hit were delayed as they were not shipped at the same time as the standard edition that made it on time. Sony was apparently aware of the delay though only informed retail at the last moment, much to the ire of customers that pre-ordered them.
- Shadow of the Colossus – This excellent remaster cleared customs late and was only available a week after release. Much like God of War, retailers allege Sony was aware of the delay but did not let them know in time.
- Spider-Man – The Spider-Man Special Edition was cancelled after it was delayed and customers that pre-ordered were offered refunds while the Spider-Man Collector’s Edition was also delayed and finally made it nearly two months later. The trainwreck doesn’t end here: Sony reneged on pre-order bonuses too.
- Tetris Effect – Much like Tearaway, Ratchet and Clank, and Everybody’s Golf, this trippy puzzler didn’t make it to India. And no, unlike them it didn’t have a late release. No demand at retail saw Tetris Effect skip an India physical release completely.
Interestingly, Microsoft has had a better track record bringing in its games to the country. Outside of Dead Rising 4, Bleeding Edge, and Sea of Thieves, every first-party Microsoft exclusive has seen an India release. On the surface, this would imply that the Xbox Series X should see the same level of support despite the Xbox brand’s many troubles in the country.
With Sony finally announcing the first PS5 games, it’s just a matter of time before the conversation moves over to the PS5’s availability. It’s already prepping for India-specific announcements. Hopefully it doesn’t forget to bring the games this generation as well.