Sony's PlayStation 4 will go on sale in the Japanese firm's home country three months after it hits stores in Europe and the US, it was announced today amid speculation the tech giant is struggling to meet high demand.
The £349 console will be available in the UK in November but Japanese gamers will have to wait until February 22 to get their hands on the device.
The company said it staggered the release date to ensure it has enough time to tailor software to the region.
But Stuart Miles, founder of the gadget website Pocket Lint, cast doubt on this explanation and suggested the delay was arranged to give Sony time to produce more consoles.
"It looks like demand is so high that they can't make enough of them to service the home market," he said.
"It's a good problem to have but if you are a Japanese gamer and Sony, a Japanese company, tells you they are going to service the rest of the world first, it's a bit annoying."
The latest announcement, made during a press conference in Tokyo, comes after British retailers halted pre-orders of the fourth generation PlayStation, prompting fears of a shortage at Christmas.
A high level of interest last month led shops to warn customers that new orders will not guarantee a machine at launch.
Stores such as Asda and Amazon said they could not promise availability on the release date - November 29 - while Toys R Us said pre-orders had sold out and Tesco was not listing the device.
The PlayStation 4 will be available in the US on November 15.