It might have slipped your attention, but a very important thing happened last Friday. Microsoft put its Xbox console on sale in Japan, a venture which some said was absolutely destined to fail.
The first reports are beginning to come through, relating to the all-important launch sales figure achieved by the American firm’s debut gaming machine.
The Xbox, armed with sleeker, smaller controllers, and support from Japan’s finest including Sega, Namco and Konami, has been backed by a fierce global marketing campaign running to half a billion dollars. It was expected that the machine would fare well in the American market, but may thought the cumbersome size and design (described by Nintendo’s Mr Miyamoto as being “fearful to small dogs,”) would not appeal to the nano-obsessed Japanese technology consumer.
Investment firm Credit Suisse First Boston Securities has stated that Microsoft managed to shift 123,000 units of hardware in its first three days of sale. This figure is just under half the launch shipment of 250,000.
It was also reported that Xbox purchasers bought only 1.58 units of software each with their consoles, a disappointing figure, as it is thought that Tecmo’s Dead or Alive 3 was bought at almost a 1:1 rate with hardware.
Microsoft is yet to release its own figures.