Microsoft: Japan is a "soulful place" for games

Phil Spencer discusses why Microsoft is attending TGS 2013, says it is "important for us to always stay in touch" with Japan.

The Xbox One launches in November across 13 countries, but not Japan, so why is Microsoft attending the 2013 Tokyo Game Show this week? According to corporate vice president Phil Spencer, it's because the company wants to stay in touch with the "soulful" region that has spawned so many iconic franchises.

"People ask why are we going to TGS. Obviously, Japan we've announced isn't one of our launch territories. When I think about Japan and the history in video games, whether it's just games that I grew up playing or even looking today games that are so important to our industry, I think going to Tokyo, going to TGS, meeting with the developers there, seeing what the gamers are playing, seeing what the creators are making, I think it's just a very kind of soulful place for video games and something that's important for us to always stay in touch with," Spencer said during Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb's latest podcast. "And going to TGS and seeing the excitement for new things and old things and the rebirth of things is just great."

Another reason Microsoft is attending TGS 2013 is to meet with Japanese developers about the company's new independent developer program, ID @ Xbox, Spencer said.

"I think it's going to be really good to connect with the developers there; have great conversations about what could happen," Spencer said.

The 2013 Tokyo Game Show takes place September 19-22. GameSpot will be in attendance at the event. Microsoft is bringing 30 games to the show, including eight playable Xbox One titles.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

377 comments
BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

Microsoft is only attending TGS for espionage exercises!

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

Japan hates Microsoft done deal JPN never gets haf of what NA gets hell the JPN dash for the 360 was dead hardly any apps and all they had for JPN games were a bunch of PC ports of dateing sims pff

Godly_Kongming
Godly_Kongming

Microsoft wants to talk games...then they bring in some BS football and NFL aps for xone?  Man who the frak does there marketing?

DO they know that football is not big anywhere but the states?  Morons.

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

Yeah, well good luck with that, MS. Japan surely trusted you before... *sarcasm*

HybridKing
HybridKing

This by no means me trying to troll. I kind of get what Phil Spencer is saying, but imo this article feels kind of desperate to me, after years of xbox not quite making it in the japanese market, it feels like they're just now trying to appeal the japanese audience.

digitaltiger
digitaltiger

This article tells me one thing more then any thing else, MS is starting to get desperate. For a long time the attitude towards Japan from MS has felt like who cares we have NA. But things are different now and MS is trying to mend broken fences so that they can stay relevant in the gaming industry. Any way by this time next year we all will see just how big a mistake MS has made with the Xbone and windows 8.

thisBlueDude
thisBlueDude

Hahaha them japaneses are getting screwed this gen!

Kyrylo
Kyrylo

"Japan is a "soulful place" for games" ....but Ms dont have soul 

kbaily
kbaily

Awww isn't that cute? MS is still trying to get Japan to like them.

Snakepond1
Snakepond1

Who cares about Japan. Leave that to Nintendo and Sony.

zatchbatch
zatchbatch

 haha do MS think they will get love on japan there wrong there hardware sells lower then smartphones and ive been to japan and i didnt meet anybody who owned one so MS quit catching your tail the east belongs to Nintendo And Sony and sega\capcom not your windows runner

enoslives7
enoslives7

microsofty simply does not get it. They never have and never will. 

Their O/S coffers are starting to empty and microsofty will be bankrupt in 5 years.....joining their old buddy HP.

darkmask1991
darkmask1991

That smoothe talk of yours wont win any hearts in Japan, M$

masta_js
masta_js

"A soulful place without teenage shootings" unless...

Monsterkillah
Monsterkillah

Ms: mmh..mmhh..cmon beibh...sexy bitchy... com to me

Japan : STFU !!!

arqe
arqe

Xbox One - Release Date 2014 in Japan = FU MICROSOFT.

Ps4 - Release Date 2014 in Japan = Sony knows how to handle things. Its a good thing probably.

Clyde Overton
Clyde Overton

PS4 is going to be released in Japan in 2014 too...

XCopperCrowX
XCopperCrowX

lol.. Internet 'tough guys' are hilarious.... 'tuff talk, tuff talk, tuff talk.'

oooookay, buncha hipsters.

ejay_kain
ejay_kain

MS never attended the previous TGS.

raziel2kain
raziel2kain

it's a soulful place, but M$ is soulless, that's why you have no place in their hearts.

blue_shift_91
blue_shift_91

lol. MS couldn't give two shits about japan. the country makes up just a fraction of xbox sales. this is definitely all about tapping into the dev market. too bad nobody even read the article.

epicgameresearc
epicgameresearc

After all the BS from MS, Hryb and co's comments all sound like disengenuous B.S.  The fact is next-gen has them far behind and they can't afford to skip any chance to promote their box.  Problem is Japan doesn't buy MS consoles and the nation with the largest X360 sales (US) is abandoning the XONE in droves.  

toddx77
toddx77

Japanese people are very loyal so getting them away from Sony and Nintendo is going to be difficult. Also many games on Xbox are shooters and as we all know shooters are not as popular in Japan so that is another problem.  Finally the lack of exclusives hurt the 360 in Japan.  With the 360 not having many exclusives and many of their exclusives were shooters so it would be pointless for the Japanese to buy an Xbox.  

zulwalks
zulwalks

@BillyColeman It holds true for the whole of Asia. Its really more of very little media companies in asia wants to bother with making apps for consoles. 

edinko
edinko

@Godly_Kongming THey  dont seem to. BTW whoever came with the idea to call AMerican football football is a moron too. The game is not played with feet and has nothing to do with real football.

Noone gives a damn about this game in europe. It doesnt exist for 99.9 % people. THere is only one real football

blackace
blackace

@nintendoboy16 Well they sold over 1.6 million XBox 360. The most of any American game console, so they must have done something right. I believe there were only about 3 other American consoles that launched in Japan. Atari 2600, the 3DO and one other one. None of them sold over 500K units. 

blackace
blackace

@kbaily I think they just want to keep a presence there. The sold like 550K XBox unit and over 1.6 million XBox 360 units there. Nothing wrong with that considering Japan hates American game consoles and Western games.

zatchbatch
zatchbatch

 @obsequies so true like china hates Windows buhahaha

zatchbatch
zatchbatch

 @blue_shift_91 if you look at hardware sells 360 sold lower then 900units last month in the states 20+ so you see ms got some ground to cover

TalesOfGod
TalesOfGod

@epicgameresearc Which they should.

The PS4 and Wii U will murder the Xbox One and will hopefully, make Microsoft retreat from the gaming community.

On second thought, that might bring the kids from the Microsoft community to the Playstation community which would be horrible. Then again, it's much better if they would quit gaming so the gaming community can become decent again.

FrankZoex2
FrankZoex2

@toddx77 Some of what you said is true but they don't make Japanese people from molds in a factory, I'm sure some of them can think for themselves.

Raymond11
Raymond11

@toddx77 they are not just loyal to sony or nintendo. They are loyal to their own product.

Centurion95
Centurion95

@blackace @nintendoboy16 I heard of this as well. While it wont get anywhere near the numbers and popularity of Sony and the PS series the fact they sold a healthy number in what is long seen as a "closed" market (at least for Western games and consoles) is somewhat impressive.

zatchbatch
zatchbatch

 @JaCkk210 @raziel2kain  if hating means facts then yea hatin feels good MS knows japan isnt europe or NA second MS isnt respected in japan like sony\nintendo is

blue_shift_91
blue_shift_91

@zatchbatch 

if i recall correctly, the 360 still currently outsells its competitors in the states. they all have ground to cover. but you need to put it in the right context. japan accounts for a ridiculously small fraction of global console sales for MS.

zatchbatch
zatchbatch

 @TalesOfGod @epicgameresearc so true MS will be in the dust when Wii U picks up and Ps4 rolls out japanese love there monster hunter final fantasy not Cod or battelfield ive been there and i didnt meet much gamers who liked them. I liked MS in the good days but face it Japan isnt for MS its NiNSony world and capcom\sega devs who own it thats facts think im hatin look it up and see

arqe
arqe

@FrankZoex2 @toddx77 Actually entire Japan is like a Highschool. Trend starts , everyone follows until another one starts.