Will Microsoft Support The Xbox 720 In Japan?
Xbox 360 failed horribly in Japan. Knowing Microsoft, they hate losing and wont give up, the best example of this is in the saying "If you cant beat them, join them", but in Microsoft's case its "If you cant beat them, buy them".
Microsoft couldn't compete with Skype or Yahoo, so they decided to go out and buy them.
My idea is that Microsoft will try really hard next gen to get Japan to like their Xbox brand.
Microsoft will be thinking "we need to have better support from Japanese developers for the next xbox"
They will probably do the following, given the endless pits of cash they have:
1# Getting an exclusive deal with Team Ninja/Tecmo/Koei to make games like Dead or Alive to be exclusive, like they did with the xbox. They got Dead or Alive 4 to be exclusive.
2# During the early years of Xbox 360 they got Capcom on their side to make exclusive 360 games like Lost Planet, they also convinced them to make Devil May Cry 4 multi platform. One of the first if not the first JRPG's that came out on 360 from Ubisoft/From Software was Enchanted Arms. So I think that partnership will continue in terms of exclusive launch games that Capcom makes.
Microsoft knew that in order to have a big following in Japan they need to get high quality RPG's, and Mistwalker was the company they chose to make them the JRPG's. So for the Xbox 720 I think that trend will continue, but they will put more emphasis on JRPG's next gen and will do this:
1# Get Sakaguchi back to develop exclusive games for them for the Xbox 720.Give him a large budget to make multiple games at once, they did this once with Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey already. If they won't choose Sakaguchi then it will probably be someone else with a good name? But if they do plan on doing something like this, it will most likely be with Sakaguchi as they already have a relationship with him and he is already tried and tested.
2# They will get limited timed exclusivity to many JRPG's like they did Tales of Vesperia, Eternal Sonata and Star Ocean. Maybe they will go for big name series like Final Fantasy and Tales Series, to get timed exclusivity this time? Remember they already got lots of timed exclusives from Square Enix like Infintie Undiscovery , they will probably go for big games now.
Microsoft really learned from experience whether these games will sell the Xbox 360 in Japan, and the answer is yes. Every time a JRPG was released, the 360 saw huge spikes in sales in Japan. See the Gematsu article where it mentions that Xbox 360's were sold out in Japan when Tales of Vesperia was launched. It was also sold out on amazon Japan. But they also must have learnt that it just wasn't enough. So I think next time they will go for BIG exclusive games....To be frank, all business have to start somewhere, an analogy can be made that "Microsoft has built the base/foundation of the house" and with the Xbox 720 they will have a greater chance, they are now ready "to fortify the house with walls and roofs". The original persona games never sold well in the USA, but now they are more well known and sell more.