Why Xbox Failed In Japan


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Published: 6 days ago
Microsoft's Xbox consoles have become a global hit. But there's one market where they don't work — Japan. Of the 46.9 million Xbox Ones sold worldwide through the second quarter of 2019, just 0.3% of them have been in Japan, according to IDC. Meanwhile, Japanese companies Sony and Nintendo are popular with consumers.

When Microsoft announced it was developing a video game console, the industry was skeptical. In the ’90s, Microsoft was known for its software, not its hardware business.

Almost two decades later, Microsoft’s Xbox has become a popular console, holding its own against Sony and Nintendo.

But there’s one market where the Xbox hasn’t been a hit with consumers — Japan.

When Microsoft released the Xbox in 2001 in the United States, Japan was the gaming juggernaut of the world. It was home to the three big console makers, Nintendo, Sega and Sony, and had the best developers.

Microsoft faced three big challenges launching the Xbox in Japan. It had to convince Japanese developers to make games for Xbox, overcome consumers’ skepticism about the first edition’s bulky design, and make up for lost sales from launching after the holiday period.

Today, Microsoft still struggles to sell consoles in Japan. Of the 46.9 million Xbox Ones sold worldwide through the second quarter of 2019, just 0.3% of them have been in Japan, according to the International Data Corporation.

While Japan is a big market for video games, Dean Takahashi, the lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat, said Microsoft doesn’t rely on Japanese consumers.

“Japan is still down, but they don’t actually need it to make billions of dollars,” Takahashi said.

In a statement to CNBC, Microsoft said Japan is an important part of its global gaming community.

“We’re committed to bringing innovative and homegrown content from Japan’s leading game creators to a global audience,” said Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s executive vice president of gaming, in a statement.

While Japanese consumers prefer Sony’s PlayStation or Nintendo’s Switch, Microsoft’s relationship with its Japanese competitors is changing. Watch this video to learn more about how Microsoft is working with Sony on the future of video gaming.

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Why The Xbox Failed In Japan


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PlayStation 4 Life 🎮
PlayStation numero uno per sempre, ☝🏻

Booohhhhh XHITBOX, 🖕🏻🖕🏻🖕🏻

57 minutes ago

But Xbox have to pay a lot to Sony for some patents

1 hour ago

I don’t like the idea of cloud gaming :/ but oh well

1 hour ago

ps5 is coming on 2020 November

1 hour ago

they didn't even mention handheld gaming, which is what most kids have over consoles or pcs

1 hour ago

Masahiro Sakurai made the Xbox popular in Japan for mentioning it, in a Banjo Smash Bros Presentation.

2 hours ago

I have an issue with the X-box controller when playing Monster Hunter as archer. This is the main reason I won’t choose X-box.
Besides, An old X-box consumed huge electricity. The image was printed in the brains of Japanese game players.

2 hours ago

But in computer phone, apple wins in japan even though they have sony computerphones.

2 hours ago

Why pay for something that is going to break??!! I bought the 360 in summer of 2008, and was happy with games like gtaiv, ninja gaiden ii, and soul calibur iv. But in November of that same year it bricked and I had to wait two months for them to fix it. Terrible customer service reps on the phone line by the way. In the meantime, I fell back in love with my PS2 and GameCube. Never had any issues with these systems...both still work fine today. I had some money to play around with, and I decided to buy the ps3. Shortly after playing Mgs4...which was a religious experience...i paid no attention to my 360. Sure I bought star ocean and forza, but nothing after that. I stayed with the PS3 until getting my ps4 in 2016. Fifa, final fantasy, nba2k, dragonquest..no reason to go with Microsoft anymore. Oddly enough I tried turning on my 360 a few years back and the rrod happened again. I live in Japan now, and some of the guys on my rec basketball team remark that they heard about the issues with the 360, and didn’t want have to go through the hassle of sending it overseas or to another prefecture to be fixed. It comes down to reliability, and the 360 rrod issue gave Microsoft a bad name not only in Japan, but the West as well.

2 hours ago

You say the Xbox is a hit globally, but it's mostly the US.
Most countries are PS.
Japan is especially dire for Xbox, but it really isn't that big outsiders the US.

2 hours ago

Huge power connector, death ring, quality control, no space for play.

2 hours ago

Why Xbox failed in Japan? Cause there's no Xbox Portable. The Japanese audience is a very busy crowd and they don't often stay home for that long so when they go to places they usually game there or want to take their games with them. Xbox never gave them any reason to game on the go unlike Nintendo and Sony so why would the Japanese gamer care to buy it? Also a lot of Microsoft's hardware are just too fat, they really need to slim it down a bit or else Japanese gamers wouldn't want to come near it. The reason why the Xbox 360 did a bit better in Japan is cause the PS3 itself is also fat and until that it got some slim down versions both the PS3 and Xbox 360 were getting their ass kicked by the Wii anyways.

2 hours ago

Here in the Philippines,
Xbox 360 is the only well known Xbox console here until now cause of Kinect.
Most of us dont know that there is an xbox one console as game stores here mostly sells ps4 and nintendo switch consoles and accessories due to its popularity of their games
(for instance : NBA 2K and TEKKEN 7 for PS4/PC and Pokemon Let's Go Games for Nintendo Switch)

3 hours ago

Is game streaming actually getting popular?

3 hours ago

Meanwhile Trump is facing impeachment

3 hours ago

PlayStation >

3 hours ago

Microsoft was called in to put Euthanize (gently) Sega. Sony was a bitter powerhouse that Nintendo didn’t take serious.

3 hours ago

PS4 : have a great narrative exclusive game for western like god of war and the last of us. But also have lots of Japanese exclusive game, anime type or not anime type.
Xbox: pretty much nothing
Not you know why

4 hours ago

I live in London for like 6 years and I love PlayStation as well because the narrative of the game just completely beat the game in Xbox. I’m fine with windows but just for the Xbox. I know Gears 5 and Halo are goods but compare with god of war, the last of us, Detroit becoming humans etc etc... Xbox cannot even compare with it.. I have both console and the only compliment that I say for Xbox is that the controller is really nice and the technology is a bit better, but what’s the point if the game is not fun enough...

4 hours ago

I've never saw any xbox console in a game shop in country (Indonesia)

4 hours ago

Xbox one slow sales have all to do with a disastrous launch of the console. Sony’s PS4 now sold over 100 million units

4 hours ago

>Dean Takahashi
You mean that Dean? Of Cuphead fame?

4 hours ago

Answer:single player story mode.

4 hours ago

I started console gaming on a Gameboy colour, advance and sp and Playstation, PS1 then PS2 and PSP, then switched to PC since i was amazed by the extreme graphics a PC can output, and now im used to gaming on a PG258Q 240hz monitor which no console can output with high or ultra settings on this monitor since most consoles can barely game stably at 60hz, you will not see me buying a console anytime soon

4 hours ago

Because Japan has always been playing PlayStation.. I mean it’s a Japanese product -.-

4 hours ago

Why Facebook lose against Twitter in Japan?

4 hours ago

Eh I have an xbox and a PC, dont see a need for a playstation

4 hours ago

Cuz Japanese Technology is better and the world would be a better place if we all have their technology. Same reason why Amtrak is a bullet train wannabe.

4 hours ago

no no stop is sh it média cnbc why Xbox failed ( Just SONY PS4 ) and asia player like PC japan no delike Microsoft japan using Windows

4 hours ago

Strange because they really want the F22 Raptor.

5 hours ago