With PlayStation 3 looming, its performance so far has hardly been auspicious - but Xbox Japan boss Takashi Sensui believes that Microsoft's efforts with 360 in the Far East will finally come to fruition this holiday.
While the bulk of media and consumer attention at last week's Tokyo Game Show was focused on an overwhelmed Sony stand, Sensui insisted that his struggling platform was finally receiving the content to match the value proposition to turn around Microsoft's fortunes in a territory which has thus far largely shrugged at a console the West has embraced.
"Japanese consumers are somewhat reluctant to take in new brands, particularly if the brand has come from outside Japan," Sensui told GamesIndustry.biz in an exclusive interview during last week's event.
"We've been here for several years now and we've launched a new campaign this summer for 360. The response has been very positive - people now feel they're very close to 360, that it's more relevant to their lives and particularly for gamers that Xbox 360 is the best platform there is."
Key to Microsoft's optimism this holiday is a triumvirate of 360-exclusive titles, spearheaded by Mistwalker's hotly-tipped RPG Blue Dragon and including Capcom's Lost Planet and Tecmo's Dead Or Alive Xtreme 2.
Destructoid: I remember where I was when Blue Dragon was announced. Although I already had an Xbox 360 and was ready for it, some folks I knew bought one just for it given who was involved (Nobuo Uematsu, Hironobu Sakaguchi, Akira Toriyama): as Mistwalker and Microsoft Game Studios made a mad dash to put out more games from Japanese studios on the Xbox ecosystem.