Xbox 2: Peter Moore suggests more compact, Japan-friendly form

Has Microsoft learned from its mistakes?

Posted by Staff
Xbox 2: Peter Moore suggests more compact, Japan-friendly form
Although it’s probably too late for Microsoft to reverse the fortunes of the Xbox in Japan, Peter Moore (in charge of Xbox Marketing), during a recent interview with Nikkei Business, has been adamant that the corporate monolith has learned from its mistakes. Moore attributed the Xbox’s failure to capture imaginations in Japan as an issue of size and design – promising that the next Microsoft console will be smaller and sleeker than its cumbersome predecessor.

Obviously, the Xbox 2 (or Xenon) has to represent a step forward technologically, but in order to keep the console’s girth to manageable proportions, to keep the costs down and to have production ready at the earliest possible stage, Microsoft will have to look closely at which storage media to utilise. Toshiba and NEC are rather keen to have Microsoft using their HD-DVD format (High Definition Digital Versatile Disc), but due to cost issues, standard vanilla DVDs might be preferred. The same question mark hovers over the possible inclusion of the HDD.

Contrary to what many had expected, the Xbox 2 may also resist the urge to push the concept of convergence into the gaming public’s culture. Although it should still see movie and music playback, broadband compatibility and even a voiceover IP telephone function, Moore has drawn the emphasis away from the notion of an all-consuming everything-machine. “First and foremost we’re creating a games machine”, and apparently one with considerably more Japanese appeal. Microsoft is looking to create a more substantial line-up of games to launch alongside the machine and will also be catering more amply for this market with a greater proportion of Japanese-developed games and RPGs.

Having been stung be Sony’s two year head-start on the current generation of consoles, Moore is also keen to point out that this shouldn’t happen again, with the simple statement “We won’t fall behind our rivals”. But with at least another year before we can expect even the most preliminary unveilings of either Sony or MS’s machine, all this talk is unsubstantiated rhetoric at this stage. It is, however, good to note that Microsoft has expressed an interest in trying to fit in with video-game tradition, rather than redefine it, and this could see the brand’s popularity improve in Japan – arguably the most traditional video-game market in the world.


Stryfe01 6 Oct 2004 13:58
I'm sorry, but who's really cares about the Japanese market ? I love the land of the rising sun, with a passion created by my love for nintendo and sega of old. Today though they are proving stubborn and unwilling to change. that is wh they have so many developers falling and low game sales outside of Japan. All their rpg's are so similar it's ridiculous now. before you could not preict what would happen in a good rpg story. Now I can tell who's evil, who will double cross you and who is the token fool and the complete path of your quest. The Western gaming market is the dominant one now, and Japan needs to step up and use all the great talent they have to make products that have more appeal. If you give me Shinobi, dont half ass it, give it to me with a GOOD story. That's what makes any gamer want to continue playing a game, even with stuid glitches.
Kaxxx 6 Oct 2004 14:15
Are you taking the piss?

Because every word of that is complete nonsense mate.
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Brown Force 6 Oct 2004 15:11
I couldn't agree more. The Japanese market as got to accept change and fast because the western market is quite literally leaving it in the dust. RPG's is a good example and they've always been the strongest genre to come from Japan. And to be quite honest there aren't many good RPG's coming from there now. Star Ocean, for example, though is a good game, the story is terrible and the characters feel more 'default Japanese cartoon series' than characters you'd actually care about.And this is the case with all RPG's and the amount of hack'N Slash games coming out is unbelivable. I know this could be compared to FPS...but at least each FPS has a a unique feature (which make is stand out) rather than looking the same and being the same.

But its quite embaressing for Japan if you ask me, the best RPG out at the moment is KOTOR and second place could argueably go to Fable. Two western made games. And if you look at the fact that Street Fighter 2 Alpha Omega whatever is still selling well in Japan, I think that says it all. They just can't let go and they just won't accept good ideas when they see them. Just because their not Japanese ideas.

If I was Microsoft I would try a little to get into the Japanese market...but I wouldn't worry over mutch about it. Just take the US and European market (Europe would probably be easiest seeing how Sony and Nintendo treat us) and the rest of Asia China and Korea would get you more sales probably that Japan ever would.
President Evil 6 Oct 2004 15:37
I don't think Pete Moore would really be bothered about the performance of Xbox in Japan.

He'd much more likely wish to point out the interesting celestial body nudging close to Uranus. Or show us the rings around Jupiter, and tell us about the vast tractless voids of space.

And play his Xylophone for us.
almondVanHelsing 6 Oct 2004 19:39
Peter Moore wrote:
“First and foremost we’re creating a games machine”

Have we not heard this before from Microsoft? Last time with XBox, we were told it was a games machine, not a convergence device.

I think they do protest too much!
config 6 Oct 2004 20:13
almondVanHelsing wrote:
Peter Moore wrote:
“First and foremost we’re creating a games machine”

Have we not heard this before from Microsoft? Last time with XBox, we were told it was a games machine, not a convergence device.

I was about to post the exact same thing, but you got there first.

This is exactly the same line MS took with Xbox, and it's as much b******s now as it was then.

Joji 6 Oct 2004 22:22
The japanese market is changing to cater for those outside of japan, that's why Sega are letting some western developers use some of their famous licenses like Street of Rage, Nights etc. This is a step in the right direction.

You are way wrong though on the love their is out their for japanese games outside of japan, and vastly underestimate it's pull. If japan stopped making games I'd probably stop gaming, our western games are good but not enough for me.

You might not realise it, but it was they who saved this industry from the jaws of the abyss, after Atari bombed out. As a result the world has been exposed to all that lovely japanese gaming culture, and it sure ain't gonna stop just because you don't favour their rpgs etc. The world is a better place after many years of exposure to their games.

No japanese means no beat em ups but Mortal Kombat series, no more 2D games, and no more cool and unusual games like Viewtiful Joe, Katamari Damacy, SOS Disaster Report, Ikaruga, Ico etc. Put these next to our FPS, strategy games etc and you'll see what I'm mean. The western games market might be dominant, but with nothing like the games above.

The japanese aren't just giving us games, they're also giving us a culture explosion and different state of mind about gaming. I'm not saying we are rubbish at making games, but we still have a lot to learn from them, even though learning can go both ways. There are also sectors of the games market we would probably never bother with, like dance mats,Eye Toy etc which can make money, but devcos probably would have never given them chance to work in the west. In a world where western developers are taking few risks, this industry would take a step closer to death, without the japanese or any other eastern presence.

As for Xbox 2 talking monkey Peter, I hope they keep their promises and don't mess up the design this time. It's clear Xbox needs more japanese support next time, something it would die in japan without. Tecmo's support is vital, but MS would do well to court other smaller jap and korean devcos.

Perhaps Gravity's Ragnorok Online might be a good bet for online Xbox 2 gaming from launch.
Kaxxx 7 Oct 2004 08:00
Well said Joji. How anyone can say forget about the Japanese market is beyond me.

Lets see all these westerners do without ProEvolution, Viewtiful Joe, Resident Evil, and numerous others. I certainly dont want to live in a world of FPS's and War reinactments.
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