Gamers in Japan are looking forward to the PlayStation 3, but they have almost zero interest in the Xbox 360. Those are the results of a private survey taken by Infoplant, a marketing research company, which found that 60 percent of gamers picked Sony's PlayStation 3 as the next-generation console that they are looking forward to the most, but only 2 percent were interested in Microsoft's Xbox 360. Nintendo's Revolution came in second place at 8 percent.
The lack of interest in the Xbox 360 among Japanese gamers isn't surprising, considering how poorly the current-generation Xbox console has been doing in the country. According to a recent report by Famitsu, the Xbox console sold only 9,045 units throughout Japan during the first half of 2005. In comparison, the PlayStation 2 sold 1,286,882 units, and the GameCube sold 159,559 units. Not a single title for the Xbox ranked in the top 100 sales chart for the six-month period.
The survey's results must be troubling for Microsoft, which is waging a widespread campaign to interest Japanese consumers in the Xbox 360. The company has announced a number of famous developers that will be creating games exclusive to its next-generation console, including former Square producer Hironobu Sakaguchi and Sega's Tetsuya Mizuguchi.
However, the all-new 360 games apparently aren't generating as much attention as Microsoft had hoped. 80 percent of the surveyed gamers said they were most interested in playing sequels of major current titles on the next-generation consoles, and 30 percent said they are looking for remakes of past titles. The top three genres that gamers are looking forward to are role-playing games at 70 percent, followed by strategy and action games, both at around 50 percent.
Another major obstacle to Microsoft's 360-promotion effort is Sony's corporate brand name, which is still strong in Japan. Infoplant noted that many of the people surveyed picked the PS3 as their top choice simply because it was from Sony, or because it was the successor to the PS2.
Infoplant's research was conducted with a sample of 1,000 console owners that were equally split into four age groups; 250 gamers in their teens, 250 in their 20s, 250 in their 30s, and 250 in their 40s. The male-to-female ratio for each age group was 50-50.