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Dynasty Warriors dev calls for simultaneous Japanese Xbox launch

Dynasty Warriors dev calls for simultaneous Japanese Xbox launch

Mon 22 Jul 2013 8:42am GMT / 4:42am EDT / 1:42am PDT
HardwarePublishing

Atsushi Miyauchi claims Microsoft "gave up" on Xbox 360 in Japan

The director of Dynasty Warriors believes the Japanese launch of the Xbox One should be in sync with major markets like North America and Europe.

In an interview with Polygon, Tecmo Koei's Atsushi Miyauchi suggested that Microsoft "gave up" promoting the Xbox 360 in Japan after its concerted efforts to gain market-share in the country failed.

"It didn't keep the momentum there," he said. "And if they can release the Xbox One as close as possible to the North American release date, I think that would make a really big difference this time around.

"Looking at the recent announcements about the Xbox One - just looking at the numbers, the specs and about what kind of things the Xbox One can do with its CPU - the gap between the PS4 and Xbox One, in terms of functionality, may not be that different. So, if the Xbox One comes to TGS and doesn't have a delayed release in Japan, Microsoft'll have a good chance [in the region]."

However, at present Microsoft appears to regard Japan as a secondary market for its new console, with the launch date currently scheduled for early 2014. While this isn't far behind the first-run launch date in November this year, it does put Japan behind around 21 countries confirmed to support the Xbox One straight away.

That list of countries was largely composed of territories in North America and Europe, but it also included emerging console markets like Russia, Mexico and Brazil.

6 Comments

Jeff Kleist
Writer, Marketing, Licensing

209 86 0.4
The problem is the TV half. Japan requires 5 parties to sign off on the simplest deal when it comes to entertainment product, and their biggest potential partner to break that ice, Tsutaya introduced their own platform a few months ago. As for Microsofts marketing efforts in Japan, they walked into a hornets nest and expected Sony and Nintendo to play fair. Japan lacks many laws the US does on unfair competition, check out Nintendo's court case from the 80s, where were caught threatening retailers not to carry Segaas a excellent example of what goes on

That and the fact that employees have told me at several major outlets of a national chain that Microsodt pays rent on the Xbox aisle to keep up appearances(I don't know this is true, all I can say is that in my many visits, I've seen one person browsing, and the stock doesn't change a lot) tells me that without a direct content partner, selling the system As media/TV box, its doomed just like the last 2. Oh and if it doesn't have DVR/BD recording features out of the box, that's death too. Something that will require hardware revisions they don't have time for.

And even after all that, the chances of failure are still extremely high. SmartTv is a bomb in Japan, and only about 50% have Internet at home (everyone uses their phones), cable sucks and very few people have it. With the right partner, the box stands a chance of working, but without an established Japanese partner like Panasonic or Toshiba throwing their weight behind it, and preferably taking over the branding there with a complete overhaul of the UI, marketing etc for Japan, I just don't see it taking off, and The only reason I can see to waste the money launching it, is to help the Japanese developers save face.

Now MS might have plans like this going, and I hope they do. The above is an informed opinion based on personal experience and research, and talking with CEs as well as game developers in Japan about how the buis works, and why XBox hasn't taken off there. I hope others can expand on it.

Posted:9 months ago

#1

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

770 1,005 1.3
Atsushi Miyauchi claims Microsoft "gave up" on Xbox 360 in Japan
Actually Mr. Miyauchi you have it backwards: the Japanese gave up on Microsoft from the outset of the original Xbox launch and never looked back. You really can't blame Microsoft for their current stance on the Japanese market.
"And if they can release the Xbox One as close as possible to the North American release date, I think that would make a really big difference this time around.
Apparently Mr. Miyauchi hasn't paid any attention to the Japanese sales figures for Xbox platforms over the last 11 years. Trust me when I say that regardless of when Microsoft released the Xbox One over in Japan it wouldn't make any difference at all. When the 360 can sell more in one US month(November) than it has sold in 6+ years total in Japan you have to start questioning how much effort and resources to continue putting in Japan.

Let me break it down simply for you. Microsoft released the original Xbox in Japan and it sold poorly. Among the main reasons(out of several) they were told it sold so poorly were A.) it was too big for small Japanese apartments/living spaces(we're just going to pretend that the even bulkier original PS3 didn't sell in the millions in Japan) and B.) it severely lacked games that appealed to Japanese taste(rpg's, old school shooters(not fps), etc.

Now flash forward to the 360's launch in Japan. It is noticably less bulky than the original Xbox and because it can stand upright space is no longer an issue regardless of how small ones living area is. Also, Microsoft goes out of their way to procure exclusive Japanese rpgs, bullet hell shooters, date sims and many other games/genres that are more appealing to Japanese taste. Japan then decides that size and gaming taste/genres have nothing to do with their dislike of Microsoft's consoles. They just don't like it because it wasn't made in Japan. Seems simple enough and Keiji Inafune echoed that very same sentiment on this website a few months ago.
So, if the Xbox One comes to TGS and doesn't have a delayed release in Japan, Microsoft'll have a good chance [in the region]."
Now you're just being delusional. Make no mistake about it, Microsoft still releases their systems over in Japan to keep the support of the Japanese developers. But when it comes to the consumers over there the message has been loud and clear that the overwhelming majority want nothing to do with their US-made systems. Outside of purchasing Nintendo, Capcom and Square-Enix theres really nothing Microsoft can do about it. But atleast they have finally acknowledged this and thats why Japan isn't getting any preference for their initial launch territories.

Posted:9 months ago

#2

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,119 889 0.8
Can't really add much to Paul... Microsoft tried hard with Xbox and extremely hard wiith Xbox 360, the Japanese just weren't interested.

Still, I think they could be successful over there one day, just not convinced Microsoft have the right product right now or th right marketing. I feel Apple would have more success launching a piece of living room hardware there.

Posted:9 months ago

#3

Shane Sweeney
Academic

329 211 0.6
OMG! I was there in the room! I think this is the first time Australia has had a big enough event (PAX AUS) that something I was in the room of has become news :D

Edit: Hey, Polygon didn't have an interview. They were just in a room of 80 people and someone asked a question about the Xbox and he answered. I preferred hearing what he had to say about Suda51!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Shane Sweeney on 23rd July 2013 3:19pm

Posted:9 months ago

#4

Jeff Kleist
Writer, Marketing, Licensing

209 86 0.4
About the only thing you don't mention is that Japanese CEs, which include game console manufacturers run active scare campaigns about foreign made goods. That's one of the reasons (along with the fact that there's some issues with Korea) that Samsung pulled out of the TV market there. Pretty much Apple is the only company that's immune from the "They could pull out at any minute and leave you without support or repair" boogeyman.

Posted:9 months ago

#5

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

1,993 902 0.5
As I keep saying, MS should have marketed the consoles as the second and third comings of the MSX (maybe even running legal emulation) and the may have done slightly better. I guess that wouldn't help much at the end of the day, but I'd bet they'd have moved more units out of the gate...

Posted:8 months ago

#6

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