Microsoft's Japanese Xbox chief Yoshihiro Maruyama has confirmed that the company's next-generation console, the Xbox 360, will launch in Japan this December - and predicted that the company will beat Sony on its home turf this time.
Speaking with the press in the Far East, Maruyama said that "we will enter the Japanese market around December," placing the launch date in Japan a few weeks after the expected October/November timeframe in North America and Europe.
Japan has so far been the toughest market for the Xbox, and Microsoft has largely failed to capture the imagination of Japanese gamers with the console - which is vastly outsold in the region by both the PlayStation 2 and the GameCube.
Next time around will be different though, according to former Square executive Maruyama - who told journalists that "this time, as well as launching first, we have focused on designing the machine and the games for the Japanese market."
"We expect to win," he concluded.