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Xbox 360 passes 1 million sales in Japan

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 21 Apr 2009 16:02 User comments (5)

Xbox 360 passes 1 million sales in Japan Microsoft has announced that the Xbox 360 console has finally passed the 1 million sales mark in Japan. The announcement was made at a media conference held in Japan today. To celebrate the milestone in the Xbox 360's harshest market, Microsoft said it will say "thank you" by giving away 1 million Microsoft Points to Japanese Xbox Live users.
The announcement was made by Microsoft Japan president Takashi Sensui along with announcements of new games set to retail for the console, as well as downloadable content. Namco Bandai's Yoshihisa Kanesaka announced the company would bring fantasy role-playing game Magna Carta 2 to the console on August 6.

Capcom producer Jun Takeuchi confirmed Lost Planet 2 will feature four-player co-op support, while Dead Rising 2 producer Keiji Inafune shows off a trailer showing the game's protagonist attacking zombies in a casino using objects as weapons.

Tri-Ace's Takayuki Suguro Sega discussed the new RPG title End of Eternity, which is scheduled for release in winter 2009. Microsoft Xbox marketing spokesman Joji Sakaguchi used the latter of the media briefing to announce some upcoming Xbox and XBLA titles, including BlazBlu: Calamity Trigger which is due out June 26, and a new 3D Samurai Shodown title. Lode Runner is due to land on the service tomorrow, April 22, while Banjo-Kazooie sequel Banjo-Tooie and Virtual On will both be available from April 29.

Mega Man 9 is due out in June for 800 Microsoft Points and will include a new boss. Space Invaders Extreme and OD Beat Drop were also discussed but no date of availability was given.

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5 user comments

122.4.2009 11:10

Why are sales so poor over in Japan?

222.4.2009 11:39

Microsoft an american product. Outside of home, it sells at a high rate, but poorly in Japan. So, its not accepted everywhere may be because it causes old sentiments to surface? There are many reasons why.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 Apr 2009 @ 11:45

322.4.2009 14:11

It's almost as if Japanese gamers are nationalistic or something. The Japanese do buy foreign things (iPods, Starbucks, McDonalds, Louis Vuitton handbags, even Microsoft Windows software, etc.) but when it comes to gaming, they just won't accept the Xbox. I don't understand why. The original Xbox deserved to fail there but M$ put in a ton of effort to push the 360 there that it boggles my mind that they haven't had more success.

- Microsoft published two exclusive JRPGs developed by Mistwalker, started up by the father of Final Fantasy Hironobu Sakaguchi. While I haven't tried Blue Dragon just yet, I think the criticism of Lost Odyssey is unfair. I'm almost done disc 1 and I'm enjoying the game thus far. I suspect that anti-M$ fanboyism might be motivating the hate on that a lot of people have for Mistwalker. If you are a fan of JRPGs, chances are you'll like Lost Odyssey. I'm getting Blue Dragon as well, even if it's a bit kiddie. Tons of SNES RPGs were kiddie and cliched too but they were still good.

- Namco Bandai published two timed 1 year+ exclusives (Eternal Sonata and Tales of Vesperia) for 360.

- Square Enix's Last Remnant is a timed exclusive. Will come to PS3 later.

- Square Enix's Star Ocean and Infinite Undiscovery are still both exclusive.

- Enchanted Arms was the first next-gen JRPG and it went to 360 before the PS3.

- Atlus released a couple 360 exclusives.

- Capcom released 360 exclusive Dead Rising.

What's it going to take for Japan to warm up to the 360? Maybe M$ should consider licensing bishoujo games (dating sims) and eroge (hentai)? Because right now it seems like JRPGs, no matter the platform, aren't going to sell very well there (even White Knight Chronicles only has 0.34m sales now in Japan) unless it's a Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Monster Hunter or a Pokemon game. Magna Carta 2 and End Eternity are not going to change things. They'll cause a temporary spike in 360 hardware sales when they get released and then the system's sales will go back down again to below-PS2 levels.

423.4.2009 7:19

Originally posted by kikzm33z:
Why are sales so poor over in Japan?
The problem is that the hardware isn't adapted to the tastes of Japanese consumers:

- Online gaming isn't a priority for Japanese, even less so if you have to pay for it
- hardware reliability is very import for Japanese. They prefer to pay more as long as the quality is there
- Lack of multi-media features for the high-end users (no Blu-ray playback and absence of some codecs in full HD)
- Poor aftersales service.

It has nothing to do with nationalistic feelings. If a foreign company adapts its product(s) to the tastes of Japanese, then they will buy it. You can't try to sell a console aimed at western teenage gamers to Japanese consumers ... that just doesn't work because those target groups are very different.

Just another example: MS adds a headphone for online gaming in the package, which is very welcomed by western gamers (who love to play online and chat) but Japanese gamers don't like voice-chat while gaming so much.

523.4.2009 11:42

The multimedia point would work if Blu-Ray penetration was higher in Japan than in America. I haven't seen Blu-Ray penetration stats for 2009 in Japan so I can't say. In 2008 though, Blu-Ray awareness and penetration were higher in the US.

As for aftersales service, I don't think it's very good service for Sony to not offer an extended warranty on their Blu-Ray and firmware errors. Lots of PS3 owners got hosed by those issues. Either pay $150+ to get it fixed or buy a new PS3 ($400!). At least M$ has a three year warranty on RRoD and (now) e74 and if your warranty gets expired, a replacement is only $200 (since you can keep the hard drive, head set and cables of the other console). Hardware reliability is a PS3 advantage but there have been more than enough problems with the PS3 to justify a warranty extension. Sony won't give it. When people had problems with their PS2, Sony told those customers to stick it too.

Also there are plenty of offline-oriented Japanese games to play on the 360. Many of these games were either exclusive or timed exclusive for the 360 as well.

Perhaps maybe M$ really needs that one elusive Japanese killer app instead of a bunch of quality but less mainstream Japanese games to do well. But when the 360 barely improved over the Xbox hardware sales wise over there despite a huge improvement in their Japanese software library, something seems not quite right. Didn't Xbox sell 1.8 million in all of Asia (most of that probably Japan)? And the Xbox had a short 4 year lifespan too. I can't believe 360 only did 1 million there after 3 and a half years.

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