Microsoft's Penetration of Japanese Market Still Flailing

Only selling 82 units per day.

Posted by Staff
Microsoft's Penetration of Japanese Market Still Flailing
Despite Microsoft's determination to crack the Japanese market, it is still struggling to sell anywhere near enough consoles to make an impact. Media Create recorded sales of a paltry 574 units last week. That's really not very many. In the same week, Nintendo shifted nearly 25,000 GBA SPs and 5,000 Gamecubes, with Sony managing sales of 30,000 Playstation 2's.

This poor performance is largely a reflection of American-based marketing tactics in an Asian territory that has never proved fruitful for Microsoft. It also follows news that True Fantasy Live has been canned.

This was a key title, emphasising the role of RPG's and online play in the Japanese gaming community, and its cancellation would have had a negative impact on potential buyers. In the last few days there has also been plenty of spirited talk from both Sony and Nintendo regarding their well-considered and life-prolonging strategies for their respective current consoles. Microsoft, on the other hand, is positively encouraging a premature step towards the next generation, hoping to close this anti-climactic chapter once and for all. That sort of stance would hardly prove inspirational for Japanese consumers thinking of shelling out for the most expensive console on the market.


Zippy1979 14 Jun 2004 17:29
Good, perhaps they'll be less arrogant when the next generation machine is finally released. MS will have to learn they can't dictate to everyone.
GadgetMadness 14 Jun 2004 17:40

And they are trying everything from "hugging pillows" to soft-porn actresses to get it up in Japan.
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DoctorDee 14 Jun 2004 18:28
GadgetMadness wrote:

>And they are trying everything from "hugging
>pillows" to soft-porn actresses to get it up in

But most Japanese actresses are soft porn actresses.

At least, all the ones I've ever seen are. Though that might have something tot do with the fact that the only Japanese movies I watch are soft porn ones ;-)

In reality though, porn is a lot less "taboo" in Japan than it is over here.

I mean over here, the same papers that make their living from selling sleaze are the same one sthat act all outraged just because John Leslie's girlfriend likes to s and f at the same time... as if it were a crime. They sell them selves on soft porn, and sleaze, and then act all outraged when anyone does anything slightly sexy, they're f**king hypocrits.
DoctorDee 14 Jun 2004 18:35
DoctorDee wrote:

Dude, I reckong this story is dog gack.

I have been a "fan" of Japanese porno since I was old enough to "enjoy" it. And i've never heard of this chick. I googled her, and still found nothing. I reckon the "Soft porn" actress bit is made up. In fact, she could be made up altogether...

But don't take my word for it, go to: and do a search on her name "Eri Kitajima", and enjoy the site while you're there...
Joji 14 Jun 2004 22:15
I agree with you DD. Papers like the Sun, the Sport and the Mirror are real trash rags. They are not worth the paper they are printed on.

Porn is more accepted in japan, but using such means to sell Xbox might not help it much.

MS have made several mistakes with Xbox in japan. Xbox's large unit design immediately turned the japanese gamers off of it, because they have such small homes, already with various consoles. Bad start.

Next was the joypad problem. Japanese have smaller hands so they'd again dodge buying Xbox. MS fixed the problem with Controller S.

Mistake No.3 was not launching Xbox with an Rpg game or two. This would have attracted a lot of people had they focused on this, and not Halo. Korean rpgs would have been a good idea, if not japanese ones. Stuff like Ragnorok Online would have been a good choice because it's online.

As for the future of Xbox in japan, they need to sell Xbox on it's strengths. The beat em ups and rpg online/offline play, sense jap folk love those kinds of games. Try selling some games with some anime or something. Speaking on anime, some anime based games would also help it. Even the DC had some of these, which in turn sell anime and manga of the same license. All consoles have these type of games, but Xbox don't have enough of them in japan, if any at all. There's new anime series released on japanese tv ever 3-6 months, so perhaps they should look into them and see which are possible game fodder, as Hollywood might with games to movies. There's also plenty of manga to plunder for potential games, I'm sure some of those artists and writers would be proud to have such a game based on their work. Full Metal Alchemist anime series will no doubt shift a lot of PS2s in the u.s, so there is no reason why similar promotions wouldn't work for Xbox in japan and elsewhere.

Some market research in japan wouldn't go amiss so they don't get Xbox2 all wrong.

Mattyd242 15 Jun 2004 12:09
MS concentrated a lot on their domestic market, but in doing so they've alienated the Japanese market. The 'real gamer's games' and genres, like 2D fighters, old-school sh'mups and, yes RPGs, aren't well represented on the Xbox. Perhaps it's a chicken and egg problem though - were Japanese developers put off by the hardaware, as previously mentioned?

Without the support of Japanese developers like Hudson, Treasure and Capcom, Xbox will continue to struggle.
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