Japanese Xbox 360 sales off to slow start

Despite a sellout at Microsoft's launch party, plenty of consoles were still available during the console's debut weekend. Photos inside.

TOKYO--In North America and Europe, Microsoft's Xbox 360 sold out in most retail locations within hours of going on sale. In Japan, though, it was a different story, as there were still plenty of consoles on shelves throughout its debut weekend.

Microsoft had a successful launch ceremony at the Shibuya Tsutaya shopping center, where executives Peter Moore and Yoshihiro Maruyama joined 250 gamers to count down the last seconds before the Xbox 360 went on sale in Japan. Bill Gates didn't make an appearance in person, but nevertheless, the console sold out in just 30 minutes at the store.

But at other retailers in the city, lines for the Xbox 360 were not nearly as long. At the Shinjuku location of the popular Yodobashi Camera electronics-store chain, where Sony officially launched the PSP last year, around 30 people were lined up around half an hour before the console went on sale at 7:30 a.m. At other major shops, crowds reportedly ranged from 10 to 30 people, although customers who preordered didn't have to line up at most locations.

But after hardcore gamers made their purchases, many 360 units remained unsold. For example, the Akihabara branch of Yodobashi Camera promoted the Xbox 360 heavily. It established a dedicated area and cash register for the machine, where many customers stopped to check out a trailer of the 360's forthcoming adventure game Ninety-Nine Nights. However, most visitors walked away without buying a 360. On Sunday evening, one of the busiest shopping times in the weekend, over two dozen Xbox 360s were stacked up behind the 360 cash register and several idle, bored-looking sales assistants.

The apparent lack of enthusiasm came despite retailers' efforts to promote the Xbox 360. Most displayed the console prominently near their entrance or cash register. Many stores also had high-visibility Xbox 360 demo kiosks where people could try out the games or watch trailers on a high-definition LCD screen. In general, retailers also sold the Xbox 360 at around 38,800 yen ($322), a slight, 1,000 yen ($8.34) discount from its official sticker price.

Some major retailers offered more substantial Xbox 360 discounts. Akihabara's Asobit City was offering a 15,000 yen ($125) store credit if customers signed up for a broadband Internet service plan when they purchase their Xbox 360. Sofmap offered a 20,000 yen ($166) discount on Xbox 360s, with a purchase of a game and a broadband ISP signup. Sofmap also randomly gave away two free Xbox 360s to customers who purchased a certain amount of goods at the store.

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304 comments
Livewirez
Livewirez

they have to throw in a few negative news bits every now and then to cheer up any sony fanboys every so often, even if the news is old.

PyroX4414
PyroX4414

where is the nose picking mentioned in rumor control?

chubbluver
chubbluver

Hey this must be a revival of old news. I have only just allowed myself to buy an Xbox 360, while I know its a bit late and the PS3 is coming out in a month (live in Australia meaning we didn't get the first lots that came out) but I had to get the Xbox for Gears of War, its probably the best shooter game with the best multiplayer for a long time coming, although I am still pretty s*&t at it, but hopefully I get better. Also if anyone wants to play let me know.. i use derror as my gamer profile. cheers

ObiKKa
ObiKKa

The Xbox 360 is selling respectably well in Japan. It's selling at an average rate of 16,000 units per week in Japan, not 4. So, tell me why Microsoft should pull out of Japan?

Manuel5000
Manuel5000

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Ploppyplop0
Ploppyplop0

um, people.... You're over a year late in commenting on this...

blueflamedino
blueflamedino

Japan doesn't like you, now serve the Americans better before they shun you too

ChAoS_Maker
ChAoS_Maker

ha! i knew this was gonna happen it was so easy to see.

WhitePenguin
WhitePenguin

XBOX360 DIDN"T SELL WELL!!!!! OMFG!!!!!!!!! Seriously Microsoft, u r the biggest dumbasses ever, y did u even send it to japan? all they care about is nintendo and they worship sony. i waited 19 hours in 20 degree weather for mine. i got the last premium. dont ever do a world-wide release again. people buying 360's online for $3,500! somegirl online said that if someone gave her a 360 , she would have giggity giggity with him cough'slut'cough

revthegod
revthegod

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

blacktwister
blacktwister

Japan should ship all unsold units to the usa if they won't buy'em we will.

spchernandez
spchernandez

I could use one of those consoles left unbought...

Hugo_Fahkov
Hugo_Fahkov

Maskinman - I have to agree with you. Asians are some very racist people. It's too darn bad that whitey and blacks get all the "racism" attention. Asians sneak under the radar, so to speak.

homestarmy6
homestarmy6

I cant believe microsoft would waste their time with them..they only want ps3 and nintendo...so gay they need to stick w/ us and europe! by the way microsoft ruined my chirstmas cuz im not gettin one...gotta wait

bobobrown727
bobobrown727

what a surprise. with the amount of games that japan has already announced for the ps3, its no wonder that they are holding out on buy a 360. its so desired in america an europe just so people can brag they have one. ps3 all the way for me.

nicotinic
nicotinic

I'm Kinda late in the posting game...and must admit I have an extreme loyalty to The Xbox Franchise...Maybe it's just me...Halo was definitly a decissive factor in my choosing the Box cause I had a PS2 at the time. When I found that the game I had been tracking for the PC was only to be released on M$'s new console I sold the PS2 and waited. I even advertised the Xbox to all of my friends and after many man-hours of heated multiplayer , I sold them and every Tom, Dick, and Harry had one. I fondly remember the days that My friend and I had to place his PSone upside down to have it play the CG scenes in Legacy of Kain, or when I lent a buddy a copy of Let's get Ready to Rumble and his vertical standing PS2 scuffed it. I'm not bashing Sony cause I did play it and it has a lot of games, but just remember. I remember when I got the xBox and It fell out of the shipping box cause it was so heavy. It was Hummer(H1) Ugly. Take note that Sony has mastered the art of capturing the American consumers Psyche. Often times we do, even if we say we don't, believe their hype. Kinda like that hot chick you think's gonna give you some, and you do anything for her, but she puts out, or it ends up as a just friends peck on the cheek, you hold on to the 'maybe I did something wrong' thought process, I gave up on the gaming company specs comparison BS a long ago but now here I am again like Nintendo vs. Sega. (Nintendo was King!!) We're a fickle consumer whereas the Japanese have a loyalty to their brands like nonother, When was the last time you saw an Asian-American in and American made vehicle (times up!!)...Loyalty. Stick with what you like not just who's winning, that's how YOU come out on top. (What the hell am I talking about anyway?)

maskinman
maskinman

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Kbs64
Kbs64

They tried to take over Nintendo's Home and failed.

Irvine78
Irvine78

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

MidtownMan
MidtownMan

I guess I'll just go to Japan and get an Xbox 360, then.

rhaigun
rhaigun

What do you expect? There was no Dead or Alive, no Enchant Arm and no N3. What were you going to sell them.....PDZ? Yeah, the Japanese just love FPS. HAH!

Geek12
Geek12

Japan, can we borrow your extra consoles!

darth-revan
darth-revan

wow it already sold better than the original has in japan =p

coldfyre_99
coldfyre_99

I have an idea for MS, how do you say "Please, oh please for the love of god buy the xbox 360" in Japanese?

mickel_darmawan
mickel_darmawan

I'm not sure about this is 'made in America' or this is 'made in Japan'??? ... That's not the point, anyway somebody already posted about this matter, about the iPod that doing really well in Japanese market, please check it. (^^) !!

Jerkofski
Jerkofski

The XBOX 360 is an american console. Its obvious that the PS3 and Revolution are going to sell better in Japan and areas around it because they are Japanese consoles.

Nein1no
Nein1no

Not a surprise. I dont mean to be harsh but... Its really not.

abdool
abdool

what do you expect from japanese gamers ? they actually love their home made consoles like sony playstation and nintendo gamecube and the gameboy .

jack8922
jack8922

lol I knew this was going to happen.

epmoore
epmoore

What did they expect? Japan is a weak market for Microsoft, PS3 in 6 mos and anyone in Japan that had any interest in the 360 saw the articles on lawsuits, problems with the 360's etc. and ran for the hills.

Buzzcut1989
Buzzcut1989

I don't see how 250 gamers is a good launch when you see thousands, maybe even tens of thousands in some cities in the US / Europe. I don't like how Gamespot is making it look really good when we all know it flopped...bigtime.I can't wait for the PS3 myself. I just hope Sony can fix out all the kinks (Which I know will never happen, there's always gonna be some kinks with electronics) .I hope the PS3 won't follow suit with the 360.

ghostjga
ghostjga

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ghostjga
ghostjga

Its difficult.... I just went to Yodobashi this afternoon, and the yup, a bunch of X360's lying about.... The launch titles are too weak... FIFA is nothing here in japan, they all play WInning-Eleven (which I think is much much better too... ), and japanese people just dont dig first person shooters as much the rest of the world does. The launch titles were weak. RR was cool, but wasnt reason enough to get one I'd say. RPGs and fighting games always sell. If DOA was out on day one, I bet they'd sell 3 times as much. I'd also like to point out that in japan, they buy stuff coz it suits their taste (I agree with Cavino), not coz where its made. One good example is the IPOD. Those guys are making 4 times the sales compared to sony. Coz its small and slick, just the way the japs like it. MS just wasted all the hype down the drain... bad launch I'd say...

darkxinos
darkxinos

Hahaha, the guy at the counter in the first picture is thinking: "What the hell am I suposed to do with all theese Xbox360's?" Japan could care less about that console

Cavino
Cavino

To those guys who asked M$ to abandon Japan market. These guys must be 8 years old idiot . Ever wonder why M$ tried so hard to penetrate this market. Japanese console and games markets consist of half of the world games market. You broke into this market, you gain the market of both US and Europe combined. Thats 50% of the world market. Its all about $$$ and market dominance. If M$ managed to dominate Japanese market, they will have a 100% free roam anywhere around the world on console markets. Most of other console market in asian countries follows the Japanese console market closely, you get Japan, you will also get tech-crazy Korean and other asian markets.

Cavino
Cavino

There's a lot of American patriotic idiots here, I see (no offense to other thinking American). About Japanese not buying products from America, I guess these idiots have never been to Japan or spoken with authentic Japanese. The main reason they don't get a lot of american products is because Japanese have their own equivalent products that catered to their taste and with high quality as well. Japanese made products are generally of high quality unless they are being produce in Chinese factory. So is their taste in games. Ever tried Resident Evil 4, its one of the best shoot em up around and it is very very succesful... heck even Gamespot awarded it a gold medal. I'm a PS2 owner and loves it greatly because of its RPG titles. Xbox failed in Japan because of lack of RPG. Thats why M$ tried hard to get exclusive games from very respected Final Fantasy creators. Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey RPGs are created especially for 360 from these creators. It will be the trump card M$ will hold when these games are release on Japanese market. I had said that I will never buy 360......that is until I heard of this soon to be coming RPG gems. Now I'm seriously considering it. Japanese gamers will probably do the same as I did. Final Fantasy 7 and Dragon Quest series managed to get Sony PS1 to become a household item in Japan. You can bet that M$ is also betting on these coming RPG gems to get 360 to become one. I myself will be watching how these RPG gems turn out. You can be sure sales of 360 will shoot up if the above mentioned RPG actually took off as they are meant to be.

Skipee
Skipee

Personally I couldn't care less about the XBOX 360. It has, what, 3 games specifically for it? And if you're not playing it on a HDTV the graphics aren't THAT great. Some of them I'd even say are on par with the PS2. And anyway, there was the big "OOOO LOOK NEXT GEN RELEASE SYSTEM." Then 2 days passed and....well, I haven't heard anything since.

crsx
crsx

ROFL at that pic with all the xbox360s just sitting on the shelves. I bet MS didn't see that coming. Giving away free xboxes?

petrnorth18
petrnorth18

why can't they bring some of those 360's to the usa? i like microsoft, but they should have planned this out better.

GriMGraVe
GriMGraVe

Eheheh, gotta love that "don't even bother about x360" look on the japanese faces. Well, everyone was expecting this. Microsoft will sell good on the USA, but the japanese don't care about the xbox and its early release.

mickel_darmawan
mickel_darmawan

Maybe not inferior, but maybe all of the Japanese already sick and bored of Microsoft's dirty bussiness, in the PC, and now want to bite the console market!!

mickel_darmawan
mickel_darmawan

They sure are GREEDY, is it not enough to be a King in the US alone, what a GREEDY company he is, want the PC market and also the Console market, that will be bad for "the competition made a good products" thing!! (^^) !!

Bloodzombie77
Bloodzombie77

Figures...it's a well known fact that the Japanese find American electronics pretty inferior, and in some social circles there, it's considered a shameful thing to own an American manufactured piece of equipment in your home. From what I've heard, The first XBox only managed to grasp about 10% of the market over there, I was surprised they even decided to launch the 360 in Japan.

deadmeat59
deadmeat59

microsoft is a fool they learn nothing from there last system in japan just cus you have a game being made by a japanese person does not many they are going to buy it. you need game's they like such as dating sims and mmorpg and the japanese hate shooter's. i think microsoft is wasting there time on japa just give up on them and send there systems here in north america. you know the sad thing right now the nintendo ds is the biggist seller in the world right now it sold 300,000 in japan in a week just in japan to. microsoft should not have rushed there launch it just show's how despret you are

Ne0zEEd
Ne0zEEd

We all gotta remember that in the end, we buy what we like. What entertains us. If the 360 had nothing to offer the majority of those in Japan, then there's no reason to spend money on it. Us here in the US know if the box came with nothing that appealed to our taste in games we'd have done the same. I see better sales for X360 once they cater to thier needs.

_sean_05
_sean_05

Do all you idiots know that if you import one you can't play US games on it? Also, hottlateenoboi: you are an idiot. where did you deduce that 360 is more powerful than 3? its final specs have not been released, only preliminary ones. And being 2nd to the market, (as ps2 did to dreamcast) you can already know what your opponent is releasing and assure something better. We should all buy ps3 if we want, because not everybody likes sports/FPS games. The Japanese do not, and thats why the xbox 2.0 will fail there as well, lack of games. What we make is not junk, the games for the system that we make are junk. And to say that we should only buy a US system, that doesnt sound like a very american statement to me. It sounds like a communist russia statement. USA is about free trade, so we can buy whatever we want, from anywhere in the world. If a US company wants to keep up, then it is their responsibility to offer a wide variety of softwareas the competition does. Mark my words, 360 will NEVER hit ps2's 100 million mark.