Console gaming not dead in Japan, Microsoft says

"It's critical for us in the industry that we continue to invest there and see great games come out," Xbox boss Phil Spencer says.

Earlier this month, Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima lamented the state of the AAA gaming business in Japan, saying young people are gravitating towards mobile games instead of high-end titles. And before that, influential Mega Man and Dead Rising design Keiji Inafune said the Japanese video game industry has only "gotten worse" in recent times.

Not all agree with this downtrodden viewpoint about the state of gaming in the Island nation, and one such supporter is Xbox boss Phil Spencer. Speaking with GameSpot at the Game Developers Conference last week, Spencer, who heads up Microsoft Studios, said he's optimistic about console gaming in Japan.

"Well, I don't think the number of gamers in Japan has gone down. We obviously haven't launched [the Xbox One in Japan] yet. I'll say we're doing more development in Japan right now than we've probably done in quite a while," Spencer said. "But the development community, I actually feel like there's a lot of great talent there for console games."

"I don't believe that console gaming is dead in Japan" -- Spencer

"I don't believe that console gaming is dead in Japan. I'm not Japanese, so I'm not the best person to talk about why I believe that. I don't have any kind of natural connection to it. But knowing my friends there and the things that they're interested in, and the games that are built there, I think we've got to find some genres of games that re-emerge," he added.

Overall, Spencer stressed that the Japanese market is "critical" and even teased that Microsoft has first-party games in development in the region.

"We remain committed to the Japanese market," Spencer said. "And I know our launch is a little further out, but we're going to be at Tokyo Game Show again, we've got first-party games being developed in Japan, and just as a creative entity itself, the Japanese development community, it's critical for us in the industry that we continue to invest there and see great games come out."

The Xbox One launches in Japan this coming September.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Want the latest news about Titanfall?

Titanfall

Titanfall

Discussion

181 comments
doctores143
doctores143

I'm going to be doing a video on my youtube channel on this topic soon... https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5dYz7iALM2FrL09LZ0iGGw


You have to consider the state of gaming socially in Japan. Japanese gamers are often labeled "otaku", or nerds, which is very very bad in Japan. Honestly, being into something nerdy is much more accepted in the western world, than in modern day Japan. Most people are ashamed to sit in the front of their console for hours each day.

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

"I don't believe that console gaming is dead in Japan. I'm not Japanese, so I'm not the best person to talk about why I believe that. I don't have any kind of natural connection to it."

So, what you are saying is you don't know shit, and we shouldn't listen to you.

ncogneegro
ncogneegro

Hideo is misreading the bullshit data he sees.  The Japanese games we come to expect from japan on consoles are not being released on traditional consoles like the Playstation 3, Xbox or Nintendo Wii.  They are being released on handhelds.  HENCE, more japanese sales, so more japanese developers make games.  Half the stuff on the PS Vita should be on a regular console.  Also becuase of the overwhelming sales differences between NA, EU and JPN, it's clear that western sales dominate the market.  Yet for whatever reason Japanse developers feel they have to cater to us.  


You can cater to us by giving me shit on standalone consoles.  Bravely Default should be on a next gen system, not a fucking Vita or 3DS.  Capcom, WHERE THE HELL IS MONSTER HUNTER???!!!!!  It's clearly too late now, as the game Evolve is coming out soon.  But Monster Hunter is a CO-OP focused game about hunting giant fucking monsters.  COME ON!  No Brainer.

galactic88
galactic88

People in Japan love their hand helds......can't really compete with that.

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

There is a strong lethargy in the gaming development community there - much like high momentum for western/european developers - the lack of momentum for asian developers ever increases/decreases ?  well lets just say no one there is investing in expensive asian developed games. Between stagnant economy, big tidal wave that hit couple years back, and again a push against western themed games. 

There is a strong cultural racism against (Youge) western games, that is ingrained at youth. You can have a ton of lolita manga on the floor but lord for bid a Fallout 3. (that is actually changing - while xbox360 did poorly in console sales it sold an incredibly high tie rate or tie in ratio - mass effect, bioshock, fallout, skyrim did really well there considering - i mean not monster hunter numbers but still.) Even if you could get investors and developers to make a western style game - your market will be small. And while mega man and final fantasy was, is and always will be awesome games - how many times can you play the same thing over and over. Mobile games are also plagued by the same formula and copycats can drown out a good game just by shear volume. 

The culture is changing, they want a good fps, and rpg just like the rest of us. And my old girl friend who my mother and wife still sends blue jeans to just hates final fantasy 13 and resident evil 6, but also has not interest in playing youge games. 

Still microsoft would be crazy not to keep investing in japan, i personally think they will get the shit kicked out of them by the newly focused, more powerful, and cheaper ps4. It'll be a hard road for MS but one you most definitely have to take, I just hope MS remembers to focus on the game- all the social, camera, spying, blacking used games, and os heavy ram for video capturing will not gain well with Japan nor the usa either.  

MICHAELKNIGHT2K
MICHAELKNIGHT2K

Despite this articles topic I think its pretty safe to say the quality of games made in Japan has decreased and the EU/NA game designers has been stepping up big time pal.

kryotech
kryotech

....no shit Microsoft. That's Sony's home turf, perhaps?

Chatch09
Chatch09

Console gaming isn't dead anywhere....PC elitists are just at an all-time high

beastmodeactive
beastmodeactive

I always said that cell shaded Anime style avatars would have helped grab the attention of the Japanese market instead of those bubbly Nintendo looking avatars.  Truth be told, I think it was just something I always wanted. 

blackace
blackace

It's pretty dead when a very hyped PS4 game console launches in Japan and demand for it dies in less then 2 weeks. I can't see the XB1 doing much in Japan after witnessing a cheaper PS4 sales drop by 1/4 and then by 1/2 the following week. The only large demand for the PS4 right now is in Europe. It's demand in the U.S. is slowing down fairly quickly now. It hasn't sold out at Best Buy or Amazon in over 2 weeks now.


http://www.nowinstock.net/videogaming/consoles/ps4/


fetuskid
fetuskid

How do you know M$, you suck.. especially in Japan.

neonakaa
neonakaa

IT ISNT. Your console just doesnt apeal to the Japanese people. Wonder why you cut off XB360 in 2012 in Japan? Because you are a western company!

Darkmoone1
Darkmoone1

Explains why the new Blazblue is being released for the Xbox 360 and for the PS3......


....Oh wait......

sladakrobot
sladakrobot

Good to hear that MS has some 1st party titles in working for the X1 in Japan.
Hopefully its a great JRPG like Last Odyssey or Eternal Sonata.
If they do well,we might eventually see a western localization.

StonerDemon
StonerDemon

MS comes from a culture that sees the Japanese as "weirdos". They say their games are "weird". They laugh at their game tastes.

Of course, they know NOTHING about the Japanese market, besides making fun of those people. 

But when it comes to fresh ideas and copycats, we know who is who.

evil_m3nace
evil_m3nace

Why is titan literally translated/written in kanji? Isn't there a better word for giant?

Kjranu
Kjranu

I'm sure the shrinking young population doesn't help either! 

RossRichard
RossRichard

"Console Gaming Not Dead in Japan"

It is for XBox.

nazgoroth
nazgoroth

Articles like this pop up so now and then.

Yet i can never find the original source... you know the one claiming console gaming is dead in japan.
Getting old!


Also: here have a titanfall image! please continue trolling! ffs ><

Cyberjin
Cyberjin

no it's not, but for Microsoft is Game Over

Mraou
Mraou

XBox One will most likely sell even less than 360 did.

ScottOakley
ScottOakley

Titanfall is not even mentioned in the article, yet there is a picture of it in the headline. Nice way to advertise the hell out of titanfall, gamespot.

calvinsora
calvinsora

Ah, generalizations about an entire national industry, always refreshing.

hotwog21
hotwog21

Micro$oft = anything to keep its name in the headlines

Arsyad00
Arsyad00

they alive but they keep their best game for their own :(

gamerno66666
gamerno66666

Handhelds are the future. Xbone is dead.

Vinnvn
Vinnvn

Good luck micosoft in my country.

lilflipp
lilflipp

MS needs to commit sepuku.

It's really crazy how much they fucked up, and how fast. They were in such a good place with the Xbox360.

lilflipp
lilflipp

Japan all about handhelds. And I don't blame em! 3DS is the shit. I got my Pokemon Y, I got Zelda, I got professor layton, Phoenix wright, fire emblem.

I'm a grown ass man btw.

warriors30
warriors30

Look who's talking...Microsoft...Japan's most beloved company. 

Right?

almighty_
almighty_

It's alive if you're Sony or Nintendo. Its dead if you're MS/Xbox

XNEXUS666X
XNEXUS666X

What the hell?? You mean it didn't just die overnight?? Jesus H, this is news apparently...

khuzko
khuzko

gaming in japan is alive - its just that the xbox is dead

PS4Lives
PS4Lives

You need to make custom Xbox fits to Asian size. 

roguedev
roguedev

@Chatch09 Ah japan has bugger all PC gamers outside of the visual novel market.
Heck steam has what. 87 games in japanese on it.

Console Elitists are and have for a long time been higher. God I hate fanboys of all kinds and both are just as bad as each other.


blackace
blackace

@neonakaa PS4's are sitting on retail shelves in Japan right now. Demand for it died in less then 2 weeks.

benelori
benelori

@evil_m3nace  

Because it is a foreign word and brand, so it is treated as such...that's why it's written in katakana

tightwad34
tightwad34

@blackace Just wait for the good games. That's what I'm doing while trying to complete my backlog of PS3 games.

roguedev
roguedev

@blackace @neonakaa So? not really a good period to tell how successful the console will be in the long run.

Fact is the console doesn't have a lot of games that appeal to the japanese audience atm, wait and then that audience will come.