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Xbox Game Pass to launch in Japan on April 14

Subscription service will go live in Japan next week for both PC and console

Xbox Game Pass will launch in Japan on April 14, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has announced.

In a video released today, Spencer addressed what he described as an "incredibly important" country to both Xbox, and him personally, due to the role it has played in the history of video games.

"This is an announcement that I know many of you have been waiting for, and I thank you for your patience as we worked through the details to make this happen," he said. "We're here."

The subscription service, which is already available in many other territories, will launch for both PC and console on April 14.

Spencer highlighted what he saw as "specific Japanese games" that will be included on Game Pass from day one: Devil May Cry 5, Ace Combat 7 and Tekken 7 on console, and Yakuza 0 on PC and console.

He also mentioned Minecraft, which he said has a big audience in Japan, and Dead Rising 4, which was developed in Canada but published by the Japanese firm Capcom.

Xbox has a chequered history in the Japanese market, never gaining a substantial console audience despite attempts across three hardware generations. However, at E3 last year, Phil Spencer told us that the country was still very much part of his plans, and teased a possible acquisition.

"I think it would be nice if we found an Asian studio, in particular a Japanese studio, to add [to our studios]," he said. "I liked it when we had some first-party capability in Japan. We have a small team there, but I think we can do more."

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Matthew Handrahan

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Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.

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