GamesIndustry.biz has learned that the Xbox 360 version of Virtua Fighter 5 may not be released in Japan due to the console's low installed base.
Speaking at last week's Leipzig Games Convention, lead designer Tohru Murayama said "it's true" that 360 has not proved too popular with Japanese gamers.
He continued, "We haven't decided if we'll release Virtua Fighter 5 in Japan because of that.
"But if we [can only release the game] for the US or EU markets, we just hope Virtua Fighter 5 will be a key title which encourages people to buy Xbox 360s."
Just under 400,000 Xbox 360 units have been sold in Japan since the console launched in December 2005. The figures for PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii, which launched a year later, stand at more than 1 million and 3 million respectively.
Virtua Fighter 5 is already available for PlayStation 3, but the new Xbox 360 version will feature online modes. According to Maruyama, these weren't included in the PS3 game due to time constraints.
"Our target for releasing the PlayStation 3 version was timing... We had to match the launch," he said.
"In consideration of that, we are satisfied with the quality of the PS3 version."
Virtua Fighter 5 for Xbox 360 is due out this autumn.