Opinion: Microsoft's High Hopes In Japan

If the Xbox 360 Media Briefing, held in the Cerulean Tokyu Hotel in Shibuya earlier today and covered in detail elsewhere, could be termed anything, it would be 'hopeful'. The 90 minute briefing, helmed both by Takashi Sensui, General Manager of Xbox Japan, and in parts by an ever-ebullient Peter Moore, was intended to show that it was business as usual in terms of Microsoft's Japanese strategy.

And, in many ways, the company's admirable intent is still in place - but the results are starting to show, and it simply hasn't worked so far. Peter Moore made a point to stress, more than once, the 10 million Xbox 360 owners that the company expects to be in place by the end of this holiday season. But the unspoken elephant in the room is that only perhaps 250,000 of those (if Microsoft's value for money Core price point and Blue Dragon bundle deals start seeing fruit) will be purchased in Japan.

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Funky Town_TX5850d ago

The first, and only console that plays games in HD out of the box. This still will not help against the PS3 in Japan.

xrobbanx5849d ago

The Japanese people are gamers and suckers for RPG if these fine RPG´s doesnt get their atention to this price nothing will

Dusk5849d ago (Edited 5849d ago )

Microsoft is caught in a catch-22. Everyone will agree that Japanese gamers do not like western games. Japanese companies didn't really support the Xbox, so it had very little Japanese games. Now Microsoft is throwing lots of money at Japanese developers and there are actually a good amount of quality Japanese games coming out for the 360.

The problem is that if these games don't sell systems and therefore sell copies of games, Microsoft isn't going to keep paying these companies to make Japanese games for years and years, all the while losing tons of money. Japanese gamers don't want to buy the 360 because they don't want to be stuck with a sytem that only has this first batch of Japanese games.

The only way it will work is if a lot of Japanese gamers (like a million or two) take the risk that a million or two other Japanese gamers will also take the risk with them. Without all these Japanese gamers taking the risk, there's a good chance Microsoft will eventually stop paying most of the Japanese developers, who will then therefore stop making Japanese games for the 360 because it just wouldn't be worth it. In addition, Japanese gamers will have two other console options that they know for sure will have an ass-ton of Japanese games and of course, both of these are Japanese made consoles.

Personally, I think the only way Japanese gamers will take the risk on the 360 is if they buy multiple consoles, like a Wii and a 360. However, the Japanese market is the smallest of the big three, behind both Europe and NA, and I'm not sure how likely it is that Japanese gamers will buy multiple systems.

clayton5849d ago

But with Lost Odyssey blowing away FF graphically and gameplay wise and you have blue dragon which is another exclusive(both are being published by microsoft) I think this will sell alot of consoles in Japan, I really want both of those games, especially Lost Odyssey, I have to see what the fuss is about. Appently you won't being able to tell the difference between cg and realtime.

THE TRUTH5849d ago

But I haven't seen anything about Lost Odessy that "BLOWS" FF13 out of the water. TGS will have both games avalible in some form so we shall see soon enough

Dusk5849d ago

I agree that these games look great and I mentioned quality games in my previous post. My point, however, is that these games need to sell 1 to 2 million 360s in Japan for the Japanese developers to keep making games for the 360 after Microsoft stops paying them lots of money to do so. 1 to 2 million Japanese gamers need to take the risk that more Japanese games will continue to be released on the 360 for its entire life cycle. I'm not sure there are that many that are willing to take that risk when there are 2 other Japanese made consoles that will absolutely have an ass-ton of Japanes games.

TheMART5849d ago

Japanese game producers also see that the games don't have to end on the Japanese market. Ninty Nine Nights for example, officially for the Japanese market, sells well outside worldwide also.

Japanese people are just waiting to compare all consoles I guess and that will be nice to see this Christmas

TheMART5849d ago

Just wait a little bit on Christmas.

The last games announced like Blue Dragon, Lost Oddysey and others are really the type of games that Japanese people love.

I am curious about this Christmas for real when Japanese see this great games and having the choice between all consoles. I think 360 will really get a take off with the new content although Japanese people will always be a kind of strange and especially after I've seen the trailer of Lost Oddyssey well whow this could really kick it in higher gear.

Although I know how long MSX lived on (and I guess still lives on) in Japan after it already died long before that in the rest of the world.

The special pack this Christmas with Blue Dragon included could also get to buy them the 360 and a Wii over the PS3

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