Sony will be including content to play with their new virtual reality hardware in the form of a PlayStation VR demo disc. However, European players are getting the rough end of the deal as the European version comes with eight titles while the North American version comes with eighteen.
Answering enquiries, a member of the Sony Interactive Entertainment said that there was nothing malicious behind the decision, simply that the problem of localisation meant not all European languages could be accommodated.
Localising games for Europe means that the localisation process puts the game into what is known as EFIGS (English, French, Italian, German and Spanish). Only France has a law that requires localisation for games in the form of the Toubon Law while other European countries will allow English versions to be released. UK versions of games are rarely localised into English and instead use the American version. As the UK tends to get games with only English on the disc, to prevent grey market sales due to games being cheaper in the UK than the rest of Europe, there is no reason why Sony couldn’t give UK players the same version as US PlayStation VR demo disc users.
As the UK tends to get games with only English on the disc, to prevent grey market sales due to games being cheaper in the UK than the rest of Europe, there is no reason why Sony couldn’t give UK players the same version as US PlayStation VR demo disc users, except for the age rating board.
Age rating in the US uses ESRB which is a non-legal system and acts purely as guidance which leading to minors getting their hands on the latest GTA, Battlefield and Call of Duty as well as other violent or sexually explicit games. Europe, on the other hand, uses PEGI with countries like Germany also having their own with the USK (Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle). The UK also had its own rating board with the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) but moved over to using PEGI exclusively in 2012 and has all the legal powers to prevent and charge anyone with selling unsuitable games to underage players.
It isn’t the end of the world though as Sony is looking at options to make more demos available through the PlayStation Store for free.
Due to several considerations specific to our region, for example, age rating and localisation requirements, there is a difference in content between the US and European VR demo discs. We continue to explore the possibility of making further demos available for free download from the Store.