Microsoft battles nationalism, cultural differences, and Sony in Asia. What must they do to become the leader in this region, and what have they done wrong in the past?
The Xbox 360, the first of the next-gen game consoles and Microsoft's flagship device intended to make them the number one company in gaming is doing very well in the US, but has experienced a lackluster reception in Japan. Since this is an arena that MS must win over if it really wants to overtake the Sony Playstation juggernaut and the mega electronics corporation's stranglehold on the console gaming market, this is certainly the cause of some alarm up there in the Pacific Northwest.
In America the 360 is widely regarded as the Next Big Thing and has captured the hearts (and wallets) of gamers all over the country. Released a full year prior to the announced (finally) dates of the Playstation 3 and Nintendo's Wii system; the 360 is essentially without competition. No other console on the market can come close to it in terms of graphics and online capabilities. One would think that in Japan, where games are more a part of the culture than they are anywhere else in the world, the 360 would have been an instant hit. Yet the month of June provided another entry in a long line of abysmal sales figures for Bill Gates' software giant turned games company. Less than 1900 Xbox 360 consoles went home tucked under Japanese arms and the original Xbox sold a whopping total of eight units. Eight. That's four plus four, Dorothy Hamill's favorite number, the square root of 64; sold in a country with a population of 135 million people, most of whom play video games.