Microsoft admits slow start for Xbox 360 in Japan

Company hopes to revitalize sales with releases of new games; hints unannounced titles to be revealed before E3.

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Microsoft's Xbox 360 has been off to a slow start in Japan since its debut on December 10. According to figures from Famitsu, the console sold 62,135 units in its first two days, but only 107,800 units as of January 15. In comparison, the original Xbox reportedly sold 123,929 units in its first three days.

In an interview published in the latest issue of Famitsu, Microsoft Japan Xbox operations chief Yoshihiro Maruyama admitted that the Xbox 360's sales were lower than expectations, but that Microsoft aims to make a comeback with new titles targeted towards Japanese consumers.

"It was a lot more difficult than we had imagined. We couldn't prepare the launch titles that we had promised, and it made an impact," said Maruyama. He went on to explain that the development tools were late for release, and Microsoft will need to strengthen its support toward software makers in the future.

"We also received some criticisms toward our promotions, saying that people don't understand what high definition is. The Xbox 360's main appeal is high definition, but we couldn't successfully convey it [to the general public]," added Maruyama. The Xbox chief explained that Microsoft is still new to the game market and is missing many of the strengths that other more established first party manufacturers have, such as a wide library of well-known game titles, and the faith of consumers that popular games will come out in the future, even if there aren't any titles at launch.

Despite the slow launch, Maruyama says that Microsoft Japan will stay the course. The company will continuously release games that are targeted toward Japanese consumers, which Microsoft believes will help greatly. Maruyama said that Microsoft Japan has more titles than just Ninety-Nine Nights and Blue Dragon in the works, and hinted that they might be announced just before E3.

Discussion

101 comments
Zironea999
Zironea999

you guys crack me up.....the xbox360 is allready at its end, it cannot be improved because its allready easy to program.....once the ps3 is this easy to program(Which will happen with unreal 3 engine comes out) you will start seeing a dramatic change in what system is better....in the end people with 360's will be the one wasting money im not really to worried about it. Microsoft has admited that the PS3 is a better system and that over 19 million of the first xbox 360s are defective and are going to die. microsofts fix for the problem? they just extend the warrenty for u guys....i feel sry for people who jumped right up on the 360 now and im glad i've never bought one.

skyvader
skyvader

They need to make some whacky addictive game here! that way the Japanese will see it and wonder what the fuss is about, import some copies and then clamour for a version of their very own. It is a reverse psychology. They would need to make it crazy enough to appeal to that market but only release it here to spur sales there.

danielfaustino
danielfaustino

GameBoyAdvance even sells more units than xbox360 in Japan. Microsoft should concentrate more on games than internet connectivity or making t-shirts with Velocity Girl (lol)

molivers7
molivers7

hard to sell a flawed system from another country. I bet the PS3 will do just fine ;)

soulknight63133
soulknight63133

Obviously, Jasonq87 you never played "Chronicles of Riddick", Morrowind, Ninja Gaiden, Star Wars: Battlefront, or Far Cry. All solid titles.

acesion
acesion

My friend who served in the military and was stationed in japan said that almost all of the people there thought american products were trash and that was when i decided that hell US stuff isnt trash its japanese crap that is so im sticking to XBOX to support the US.

jaefrmbk2k
jaefrmbk2k

they're tryin' too hard-i bet the Japanese are relishing seein' MS jump thru hoops for them with little return

billa_gorilla1
billa_gorilla1

geezz, I fail to see how hotdogs and chopsticks would be considered "racist crap" to japanese people??? And I was referring to microsofts marketing plan anyway, wasting precious 360's on the Japanese gamers that don't even demand them while other countries that would kill (or import) to get them. I think you've jumped on one too many koomba's boy!!

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

LOL. they didn't have to admit it for everyone else to know.

ewjim
ewjim

Mwahahahahha!!! It's Sony and Nintendo territory! "Go home" microSOFT! LOL!

JasonQ87
JasonQ87

XBox is USELESS without Halo. That's the reason why XBox is beating the GC in the USA. Nintendo is 2nd place globaly and it would have stayed in 2nd in USA if it wasnt' for that overrated Halo game. XBox relies heavenly on Halo. Sales for the 360 will boost up once Halo 3 comes out. Like how it was when Halo 2 came out.

soulknight63133
soulknight63133

I did touch on the the subject at hand. Japanese people are loyal to their OWN (Sony and Nintendo) product that is why M$ will NOT dominate in Japan.

Alfredo14
Alfredo14

to me this is funny i thought that ms would do better in japan but there doing worse this time around they are trying harder in japan and they are rejecting them even worse now im a sony fan but i still want ms to do good to bad

linkup90
linkup90

"If people want to be closed minded only to Sony, fine." ok The PS3 will cost $399 at launch and have about ten games. The 360 will run in circles and then get smashed.

dclive2000
dclive2000

So What M$ has a slow start. I love my 360. If people want to be closed minded only to Sony, fine. We know the spec's of the PS3, ok. We all seen CG's at least several games. "Please show me actual gameplay"!!! What's the price gonna be?! We still don't know. Why the hell we need Blu-ray technology when developers still uses up 30% storage space on a DVD-9 format disc?! Now i'm hearing speculations that PS3 games will run up to $80.00?! Not only that, what this crap about security encoded games that will work only on your PS3?! So, if I have Devil May Cry 4 and take it to a friend's house to play it on his PS3, it won't work?! If Sony pulls this crap, they can keep their PS3. As long as M$ keep Xbox Live running smooth for games like Huxley 5000 people per server MMORPG FPS, i'm good. If anyting I said was wrong, please correct me.

Viquist
Viquist

And if that's all you had to say soulknight63133 then you could have kept it to yourself. There was an actual topic here to be discussing, and you didn't even touch on it. Besides I took it as just a simple joke like it was supposed to have been not blown out of proportion into some racist remark. Anyway, the topic, Xbox tried. Xbox failed. And in the process they have upset plenty of people worldwide with shortages and delays. I will be like the japanese and just be waiting for my REV (over a 360 anyday) and my PS3

soulknight63133
soulknight63133

kudos to alexgangur- Thanks for stepping up and putting an idiot in his place! I too have very little tolerence for racism or the ignorance and the stupidity behind it. It's kills me when some people try you fault you for "where you're born" or "what race you are" the fact is, you have NO control of any of that! What you DO have control over is being a decent human being by not harming others,believing in actually "earning" what you have, abiding your laws to the best of your ability, treating people regardless of nationality or race with the respect you would want. It's called "character", something people like him DON'T have.

soulknight63133
soulknight63133

mhder- I agree American products are sold in Japan but is no way dominating the Japanese market or economy. They are dominating ours in America in just about everything (but that's our fault,we're buying their products) And far as quality is concerned, I already mentioned in pg.6 that the Xbox is better than the PS2. I played both systems and Microsoft's system (Xbox) is just flatout more powerful and able to do more than the PS2. With that said, PS2 still outsold Xbox by large margin. Quality product or not Americans in general just DO NOT support their own products especially console systems. It hurts to say that I'm an American myself but it's the truth.

alexgangur
alexgangur

billa_gorrila1 - "God damn snobs, trying to eat their american hotdogs with some crappy Japanese chopsticks" Sound's like you're the goddamn snob, resorting to racist crap like that. And by the way Microsoft really ought to set their priorities straight if they really want to succeed.

mhder
mhder

Oh Here we go - Japanese people support Japanese companies... Have you people been to Japan? Do you know that there is nothing more sought after than foreign goods? - The catch - it has to be good. They don't shy away from foreign goods - hell, every major city has an America Town where american and western goods are sold - and the place is full of people. What you "Americans" don't understand is that Japanese companies know that products only sells if they are good. They make products that are good at home and abroad. Conversely - you have for example, American car makers who can slack off and make mediocre cars because they know that a lot of patriotic americans will purchase their product simply because it's made in the USA. The result, their product cannot compete overseas, and in the case of cars, they start to lose ground at homeas well. Nintendo could also be accused of this because they have die hard fans (like me) who will buy their product even though it may not be the "best." MS can't use the Cool factor(like in the USA) in Japan - it actually has to win on games. The kiddy accusation doesn't work in Japan. In my opinion, MS does well in the USA - not based on games, but because they have fanboys who will buy their product and even make excuses for them when they should be paying more careful attention to the quality and quantity of their products. Does MS need to change their ways in the USA? Nope, their fans will continue to buy or wait and never hold them accountable.

billa_gorilla1
billa_gorilla1

Thats damn right Nintendo_Man. They should actually release them here in Australia and New Zealand!! They have a whopping 40% market share over here!! We should have been the first countries to have this released to us, but noooooooooo instead they delay our launch till 23rd of March and force us to pay $499USD to have it!!! God damn snobs, trying to eat their american hotdogs with some crappy Japanese chopsticks

hush404
hush404

Didn't they drop the price of the 360 in Japan substantionally to try and get the Japanese to bite? The Japanese don't get the "Hi Def" because they're seeing 360 games and wondering how they look different from Xbox games, LOL, Jk.

gcrono
gcrono

"Microsoft admits slow start for Xbox 360 in Japan" I can

Nintendo_Man
Nintendo_Man moderator

They would of sold more here in Australia if they didn't once again delay the release to the 23rd of March. Bigger markets don't always mean you will sell more.

gamepunk86
gamepunk86

ms won't succed there ever. the 360 is selling worse the original. next time ms, don't be so cocky.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

They rushed the X360 to the Japanese market. They should have waited to ship with the games that the Japanese crowd was interested in (ex. Ninety-Nine Nights). The 360 starting out worse than the original Xbox did is not a good thing at all, and certainly not a good sign for the X360's future in Japan.

microwaveman
microwaveman

microsoft should sell more xbox360s in the USA and Europe, where people actually want them.

Mantorok
Mantorok

I think it said it all when they were using HD to market the console, dear me, that's like trying to sell a car with no petrol tank. Clearly he hit the nail on the head - they are still learning, props to admitting it though, you won't see Sony or Nintendo not putting spin on an upset. Kev

soulknight63133
soulknight63133

lol..good ideal bizsumpark, but we know it won't really matter what M$ does. The japanese are going to stay loyal to their products and economy. Their sense of honor and pride are too strong to let an American product to come in and take over their market.

bizsumpark182
bizsumpark182

They won't be able to take over the Japan market. Not unless they give away a HDTV with every 360.

soulknight63133
soulknight63133

I agree with what "merriJ" said. This is an admirable trait for the Japanese people. They STRONGLY support their own product (Sony) So even if M$ comes out with better games to boost sales in japan they will always be loyal to Sony. This unfortunately is a lesson we "Americans" haven't learned yet. The number of "Americans" that rather be loyal to Sony than our own products(M$) is staggering. It bothers me that people in other nations have a better sense of honor and tradition than we do..truly sad.

cyprus646
cyprus646

MS just stop with the japenese market and wrk on the american and european markets. Just because you say your gona develope japanese games dosent mean that people r goin to buy them.

Atomic_Mutant
Atomic_Mutant

I've heard that Japanese also spurned Sony, for having used a technology developed together with a foreign company (Samsung) in their LCD displays. Is this true? Sony's on a roll nowadays, and with a foreigner at the top of the organization, it is hard to say whether where these national or brand loyalties lie. It is quite reasonable to expect that even under the same brand Japanese domestic products are made in Japan itself whereas their exports are outsourced to third party manufacturers in China and Malaysia. So even if you consider PS3 to be the pinnacle of Japanese game technology, not all PS3s are made equal, it seems. There are many other reasons why XBOX 360 has been sagging in sales, though, as already mentioned in countless comments, the most glaring of which is the lack of good software that appeals to the particular tastes found in that culture. Americans have been playing Japanese games for decades, and have taken up that particular type of cultural element into their collective gaming consciousness; it is familiar. But Japanese gamers have not encountered that distinct American flavour of gaming for as long and it may be hard to uproot their gaming perspective or tastes for outright adoption of a new one, unless Japanese developers start developing content on the platform XBOX 360's poor showing in Japan could mean either MS would have to expend more resources to try and entice the indifferent population or stay the course it has planned for itself. I think latter is more likely, and MS really does not have to worry about the diminishing sales in terms of profit, as Vista will be able to more than make up for whatever was incurred in their console venture in Japan. Lastly Japan's game industry and market are probably the second biggest in the world, and to gain the legitimacy in this so called console war, one has to at least claim some percentage of this formidable market. Just like other posters said, it is time to expand the market to other areas of potential sales. Maximize its availability and adoption in the rest of the North American market, to the point of saturation now that the allure of promotion has ebbed. Why not also promote heavily in other Asian and European nations?

billa_gorilla1
billa_gorilla1

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

shoutcast
shoutcast

The Japanese aren't idiots. Maruyama is just blaming his parent company for lack of understanding "culture," so that he can cover his @ss for his great failure. A large majority of Japanese consumers understand the meaning of "High-definition." Whenever you walk into an electronics store in Japan, the concept of "high-definition", "high-vision", and " superior picture quality." is smacked into your face like no other. Lets not forget everyone and their mother in Japan basically craves an HD TV nowadays. When Maruyama says that Japanese consumers lack the brains to digest tech info, he's got his foot in his mouth. The only clear thing about Xbox 360 in Japan is that it is not selling well. Or it could also mean that the Japanese are extreme fanboys to their own domestic products. You can see this trend in cars, tv, and computers, etc. If you have been to Japan, how many people have actually seen a Japanese person drive an American car (Ford), watch a Korean TV (Samsung), and use an American computer (Dell) and like it? Those numbers are pretty low. The Japanese market is extremely picky and hard to crack due to the "uniqueness" of their culture. More like blind loyality.

_solidsnake_2
_solidsnake_2

Ive said it once and i'll say it again. PS3 owns Japan.

PMB960
PMB960

M$ may come in 3rd worldwide again if the xbox36 doesn't do well. The original xbox beat the GC almost everywhere except Japan but the GC beat it by so much it came in second world wide. They needed more RPGs at launch not FPSs. The Japanese aren't as interesed in FPSs as Americans are and they need to learn that.

jakeboudville
jakeboudville

the 360 will never appeal the Japanese cos Nintendo and sony is their favs

merriJ
merriJ

The Japanese want to be like Americans but not support American made products. They believe supporting an American manufacturer and product (MS & Xbox360), over Japanese products is a dishonor to their culture. Don't forget that this is a country that still has strong traditional beliefs. It goes way beyond the video game industry. They believe that their knowledge of technology is far superior than ours. Just look how they support SONY (good) and our automobile industry (bad).

MajicManj
MajicManj

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

MajicManj
MajicManj

"... The Xbox 360's main appeal is high definition,..." - Japan Xbox operations chief Yoshihiro Maruyama. Could it be that the Xbox 360 tanked because, MS, instead of making a video game system with its main appeal being video games. MS made a video game system that focused on HD and not video games. Too bad MS didn't consider that, maybe, just maybe, this is may come as a huge surprise, people that buy a video game system may actually want to play video games on a video game system, more than looking at a picture. Of course, they then compound the problem by making HD the "main appeal" by bringing out games that look worse and are worse than their current generation counterparts, charge more money for the worse product. In addtion, MS then announces that the $400 already spent was worthless because to enjoy the 'main appeal" of the system the consumer will have to pony up to buy an HD TV and an additional $400 for an external component to play HD-DVD movies, which currently are not available and are not being produced. As if this all isn't bad enough, MS continued by making HD-DVD the standard they will adopt with nothing proprietary to offer, while going up against Blu-Ray, which has more support, and has proprietary support. Sony Pictures. Sony movies include Spider-Man. To add more problems the Xbox 360 games are not HD-DVD. So the storage capacity will be extremely small compared to a Blu-Ray disc. Considering how much Sony has put into Blu-Ray, do you think they will release Spider-Man and other Sony Pictures movies on HD-DVD any time soon? Probably not. So now if you own an Xbox 360 and spent an additional $400 on the external HD-DVD Player you are screwed. What I can't figure out is how MS actually sold more than 100,000 units.

davahsa
davahsa

Slayer PSP should get hired by M$! It's totally like No $#!t people. Release it when you have the games ready for that type of audience. That would have gave the rest of the world 100,000+ mor 360's.... you will win them over but not with RidgeRacer alone.

rbarahona
rbarahona

Microsoft is taking the right steps in order to enter into the Japanese market. However it seems that the Japanese gamers simply don't like the XBox... Let's see how the system sells once that Blue Dragon start selling.

Jedi_Osborn
Jedi_Osborn

big surprise. like the pic of the japanese guy with a shelf full of 360's didn't already tell us this story. MS messed up this launch in so many ways...this is one of them.

soulknight63133
soulknight63133

It's a shame that most American products do not have same quality as Japanese or other foreign products. But for the first time in a long time Microsoft(American) actually came out with a decent product. I've seen games on both systems(PS2) and the Xbox is clearly the superior system. 360 games like PGR3, Condemned, DOA4, and Call of Duty 2 are all solid titles. So finally an American product I can support. In time Microsoft will catch up,the way Sony caught up with Nintendo(who would've thought that would ever happen?). And for those who think "Halo" is the only title Xbox has to offer you might want to try "Chronicles of Riddick", Morrowind, Baldur's Gate, Star Wars "Battlefront" series and Ninja Gaiden. Any TRUE gamers will admitt these are great and fun games. And any titles that are on both systems the Xbox version almost always looks better.

Truth01
Truth01

few launch titles = little xbox 360 sales

XlpranksterlX
XlpranksterlX

They can go try to boost sales all they want. Its the games that will move this platform in Japan.

jrc123
jrc123

If anyone would like to own a 360 core system, and you live in OHIO. Let me know. I seen 2 yes 2 360 core systems. I have a 360 already so i don't need, but i will tell you where i saw them at.