Microsoft has gone on record to state that the Xbox will go on sale in Japan on February 22 next year as originally planned. The company said that there was confusion at the recent Tokyo press conference, resulting in the company president Richard Belluzzo talking about other Asian possibilities for the console.
"The Xbox confusion was caused by me when I was speaking at a similar press conference in Taiwan with regard to things I said about the Europe and Japan launch dates," he said. "I didn't think I was confusing, but I guess I was. The Japan launch date of February 22 is unchanged, and the Europe launch in March is the same."
Microsoft released the following statement:
Microsoft Corp today reiterated that the company is on track to launch the Xbox video game system in Japan on February 22, 2002, as previously announced. Recent press reports have indicated that the launch date had slipped, but there are no changes to the February 22 launch plans. Microsoft also is moving forward with the planned March 14, 2002 launch of Xbox in Europe.
Following the successful launch in North America last month, gamer excitement for the arrival of Xbox in Japan and Europe is continuing to build.
In related news, Belluzzo said that the machine will not be launched in Taiwan in the foreseeable future. "We do not have specific plans at this point for Taiwan. We have launched in the U.S. but we have to make sure in every country we enter that we have a complete solution around the product and that we have the ability to deliver the product."
It was widely expected that Microsoft would release the machine into Taiwan in Q1 next year, in efforts to combat Sony’s Asian dominance in the console sector. SCE is poised to launch the PlayStation 2 in Taiwan in February 2002.