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Kinect sales 'stalling' in Japan - report

Retailer figures point to slow uptake; but sales on par with installed base ratios

A report has claimed that Microsoft's Kinect motion control peripheral has endured "a pretty rough start" in Japan following its recent launch.

According to Japanese media retailer Tsutaya the camera-based device is selling around a quarter of the numbers of Sony's PlayStation Move in a country that has proven a tough market to crack for the US hardware manufacturer and publisher.

But according to the latest numbers from Media Create around 1.4 million Xbox 360 consoles have been sold in Japan, compared to 5.7 million PlayStation 3 units - which means that sales numbers are roughly equivalent on a like-for-like basis.

The report in Mantan-Web, citing Taketo Matsuo and translated by 1UP, also points to the lack of Kinect titles in the country's top-selling games, and claimed that most people buying the peripheral were existing Xbox 360 users, rather than people new to the platform.

If true that would mean that Microsoft is unlikely to see a spike in console sales, painting a very different picture to Western markets where it's believed that Xbox 360 sales saw a significant upturn when Kinect was launched.

However, although this is a snap-shot of one retailer in Japan, unless Microsoft releases Japan-specific numbers - which it is unlikely to do unless sales are particularly strong - a clear picture of the overall market will be some time in coming.

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Phil Elliott