Xbox 360 interest tops Revolution at TGS 2005

Annual survey shows Microsoft making mindshare headway with Japanese gamers, but still trailing Sony by a wide margin.

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TOKYO--Despite a disappointing showing in Japan with the original Xbox, it appears that Microsoft is making progress in establishing a presence with gamers in the Far East. A survey of Tokyo Game Show 2005 visitors indicated that interest in Microsoft's Xbox 360 was higher than the Nintendo Revolution.

The report was conducted by the TGS host Computer Entertainment Suppliers Association (CESA), which found that 23 percent of surveyed visitors said they were looking forward to picking up the Xbox 360. While that figure doesn't come close to that of Sony's PlayStation 3, which caught the interest of 70 percent of surveyed showgoers, it did beat out Nintendo's Revolution, which only garnered interest from 20.9 percent of those surveyed.

CESA's report neglected to mention that the Xbox 360 was the only playable next-generation console during TGS 2005, which could well have factored into the survey's results. Another likely influence on the figures was Nintendo's unveiling of the gyroscopic Revolution controller during a TGS keynote speech.

The survey also revealed other figures that reflect the taste of Japanese hardcore gamers (or at least, the kind interested enough to visit a game show). When asked which currently available game machines they wanted, the top three picks were all new handhelds. The PSP ranked first with 35.7 percent of the surveyed gamers hoping to purchase it, followed by the Nintendo DS (13.7 percent) and Game Boy Micro (9.7 percent).

Nearly 60 percent of the surveyed visitors said that the body colors of game consoles are a "very" or "fairy" important factor. With multiple answers allowed, the top color of choice was black at 47 percent, followed by white (26.9 percent) and silver (23.5 percent). Surprisingly, color models based on old consoles such as the Famicom weren't too popular, with only 10.2 percent reporting an interest in them.

Another peek at Japanese gamers' attitudes toward the next generation of systems came earlier this year with a July survey conducted by marketing research company Infoplant. That survey showed 60 percent of polled Japanese gamers were most looking forward to the PlayStation 3, with 8 percent most eager for the Revolution, and only 2 percent reporting greatest interest in the Xbox 360.

CESA's TGS 2005 survey was taken from a sample of 1,084 visitors between the ages of 10 to 49 (male: 80.4 percent, female: 19.6 percent). Detailed figures are available in CESA's TGS 2005 visitor's survey report, which is available at the organization's official site.

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