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Xbox One debuts in Japan September 4

Xbox One debuts in Japan September 4

Wed 23 Apr 2014 2:38pm GMT / 10:38am EDT / 7:38am PDT
Hardware

Microsoft sets date for third attempt to gain foothold in Japanese console market

As big as the Xbox and Xbox 360 were in the West, the systems never matched that level of success in Japan. The company will attempt to woo that market for the third time later this year, as Microsoft today confirmed a September 4 Japanese launch for the Xbox One.

September should be big for the Xbox One, with Japan just one of 26 new territories in which Microsoft is debuting Xbox One during the month.

The expanded availability for the Xbox One may also help close the sales gap between the console and its chief rival, Sony's PlayStation 4. To date, Microsoft has shipped more than 5 million Xbox consoles while Sony has sold through 7 million systems. However, Sony's console has already launched in dozens more territories, including Japan.

6 Comments

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,136 914 0.8
Can't help but think Microsoft are missing a trick in Japan.

Posted:3 months ago

#1

Christian Keichel
Journalist

571 783 1.4
I don't see why they bother to release the XBox One in this territory. Console gaming in Japan is very much dead, neither the Wii U nor the PS4 could change that and the XBox brand only appealed to a very small niche market in Japan anyway.

Posted:3 months ago

#2

Steven Wemyss
Senior QA Engineer

33 31 0.9
It's finally being released officially here in Sweden then as well however it's already overstocked in a number of shops and has been widely available for months. Any early adopters will already have purchased one or are still waiting for that elusive must-buy game so I hope they're not looking to make a big deal out of this T2 launch as it's unlikely to provide a big boost to sales.

Posted:3 months ago

#3

Neow Shau Jin
Studying Bachelor in Computer Science

43 53 1.2
@Christian

actually I think they should release in as many territory as they can, and if they are smart, they will.
My country only have a lifetime PS3 sales of a little over 80,000 unit(if my memory serves me right, stats was from 2012), but Sony still release PS4 here, and Microsoft is basically giving this territory to the competitor if they don't release it here(they did not release the Xbox 360 here, so that doesn't help the argument that Xbox 360 only sells well in US). Yes, United States is the main market, but doesn't mean other countries do not have potential to grow.

Posted:3 months ago

#4

Christian Keichel
Journalist

571 783 1.4
@ Neow Shau Jin

Releasing the XBox One costs money. The localisation of of the XBox One is even more expensive, because of the Kinect voice recognition. In the last generation the best selling console - the Wii - sold only 12 million units in Japan, the PS3 sold about 10 million, the 360 sold about 1.6 million, for comparsion, the PS2 sold 21 million units in Japan. Right now, it looks like the 12 million or even the 10 million of the last generation are unreachable, nothing except handhelds sold well in Japan during the last 10 years (Nintendo DS 35 million, PSP 20 million, 3DS 15 million).

Additionally the 1.6 million of the 360 were only possible, because MS invested heavily in 360 exclusives (e.g. Blue Dragon), but even with investments like this, the 360 never even came close to outselling Sega Dreamcast in Japan (2.32 million units).

In my opinion leaving the market to the struggling competition would be better then falling back to the numbers of the original XBox, because this makes the competition look as a success, even if the real numbers for the Wii U and PS4 aren't good in Japan.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Christian Keichel on 24th April 2014 4:55pm

Posted:3 months ago

#5

Nick Wofford
Hobbyist

148 146 1.0
I agree with Christian. As a bonus to avoiding a (lackluster) release in a territory that won't buy an American home console, they can just use those units to overstock other territories. Losing a sale to "Sold Out" signs is stupid, but they seem to have avoided it with the staggered launches of the PS4/X1. It's a better strategy all around to avoid Japan.

Posted:3 months ago

#6

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