Japanese market analysts: X360 RIP

“No one – consumers or software makers – has been talking about the Xbox 360 lately, although we only have a couple of days before the release. Given also the fact that basic functions of Xbox 360 are inferior to Sony’s next-generation machine, and that there are not many newly-developed titles ready for the Japanese launch, Xbox 360 is not likely to become a must-buy console here in Japan.”

“We had previously thought that Xbox 360 could gain a major share of the Japanese market by taking some market share from front-runner Sony Computer. But we now think that such a prospect may not be realized, given the limited attractiveness of its titles and its lukewarm functions.”

“Given declining enthusiasm for the Xbox 360 by Japanese players and software makers, it would be almost impossible for Microsoft to overtake Sony or even Nintendo. Even from the global viewpoint, unless Sony fails to bring the next-generation PlayStation 3 consoles to the market on time, Microsoft appears to have almost no chance to be the industry leader.”

What’s the Japanese for “Ouch”?

Premature, if you ask me.

I don’t think Microsoft expects to be a market leader in Japan, just not suck. They should use some money to get Square Enix to make the next Dragon Quest game on Xbox 360. That’ll sell a ton of 'em.

Excellent, now Jose Liz > multiple Japanese market experts.


Maybe ‘meaningful success’ != ‘market leader’?

Um, what’s the contradiction there, Gary? Jose said MS doesn’t expect to be a market leader. Maruyama isn’t contradicting that. He just says they want to “achieve meaningful success”. That doesn’t say “market leader” to me. That just says “we want more than 2% penetration” or whatever they got with Xbox.


As far as my gaming preferences go, xbox 360 tanking in japan is a great thing as long as microsoft is willing to continue to pump money into the platform here in the states.

Why? Because I hate Japanese-style console games and I hate Japanime-style art in my games.

Clearly they hope for/want/need a whole lot more than that. Without wishing to be presumptuous, I’d suggest that their definition of “meaningful success” within this generation is to no longer be third place. The problem is, that’s exactly what the market analysts are saying is going to happen.

I just wonder what it is that Microsoft seems to think that Japanese consumers are going to respond to about the X360 after they so roundly rejected the XB1. It’s not like they’ve come at this new system from a radical new direction, or anything. It’s more of the same, only more powerful (and apparently not powerful enough.)

Well, they’ve gotten Square*Enix to support it. That’s something, though I highly doubt we’ll see the next Dragon Quest come out for the 360.

I think the most you’ll see is an equivalent to the Gamecube getting Crystal Chronicles-- a side story or new sub-franchise. I have to admit that I’m a little suprised that Front Mission Online isn’t going to be on 360, when it’s going to be on the PS2 and PC.

They’ll do better this time around. They still have Team Ninja from last gen, and now have Square, Q! Entertainment and Mistwalker on board for the 360. Japanese gamers will start coming around once these begin panning out, there’s just nothing in the launch lineup.

The fact that DoA4 getting delayed until the end of Dec probably doesn’t help much either.

Considering how the Xbox has sold just over 11k units in Japan in ALL OF 2005 to date, I don’t think it’s going to take much to outdo themselves there :)

That said, I don’t think MS will have any trouble selling out its 100k units that I hear will be available for launch in Japan next week…although I’ll doubt that it’ll sell out on its first day of release.

What Japanese developers have have experienced"declining enthusiasm"? Either they’re signed on or not. What basic functions are “inferior”? The lack of multicolored casings?

This is the same old anti-western attitude the Japanese have always harbored for our imports. I don’t care if its beef, tech, autos, etc (The iPod being the only exception). the statements are like a kid whistling in the dark pretending he isn’t nervous.

They fear our large American Tech-PeNiS!

I do think it’s interesting that they ding the X360 for not being as powerful as PS3, but they don’t see this as an issue for the vastly tech-inferior Revolution. Maybe their analysis is the same as those who have been defending Nintendo in the current Rev thread - that Nintendo is happily carving out its own specific space in the market, a space where hardware dick-waving is irrelevant.

They certainly don’t seem to have a problem with baseball or American movie stars.

The Japanese seem to me to value subtlety a lot more than the typical American consumer. There’s nothing subtle about the original or the new Xbox. The IN YO’ FACE MOTHERFUCKER! attitude of the Microsoft consoles probably doesn’t do it for them.


They may have been referring to the PS3’s alleged role as a home entertainment centre unit and not just raw performance, with their “basic functions…are inferior” wording.

Still, it’s an awfully big leap of faith on what they expect the PS3 to deliver.

Uh…what anti-western attitude?

Japan tends to outpace the US in the field of consumer electronics so I don’t see why they would use US brands. Hell, who uses US brands in America? They do use mostly American products in the field of computers though. I guess they gave up when the PC-98 platform went bust.

And besides, in all honesty there’s not too many countries outside the US that has embraced American pop culture like the way Japan has.

Xbox’s pitiful market share in Japan and the fact that the Japan market has very different tastes in games is probably more of a reason for developers to feel hesitant tha anything else. Neither a GTA or a Halo is a killer app by any means in Japan. Hell, they’re not even the right genre.

Yeah, because Sony is so subtle… ;)

They may have been referring to the PS3’s alleged role as a home entertainment centre unit and not just raw performance, with their “basic functions…are inferior” wording.[/quote]
Again though, the Revolution looks even worse in that context because its function as a game machine couldn’t be any more basic.

Unless 360 gets exclusives that the Japanese market wants, nobody will care. Having DQ9 on the 360 will not sell any units if the game is also available on the PS3 and everybody already owns one.

I think that is a big problem. I don’t know how much money it would take to convince, say, Square, to make Final Fantasy XIII an X360 exclusive, but I suspect it’s more than even Microsoft could afford.*

[size=2]* Maybe if they hadn’t pissed all that money away on Rare, LOL.[/size]