Why Xbox Failed In Japan


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Published: 4 months 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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comment  Comments

I kinda hate Xbox one s because YOU HAVE TO PAY TO PLAY WITH YOUR FRIEND!

20 hours ago

I have Xbox but I like swich more than xbox and other gaming consoles.

1 day ago

"Why Xbox Failed in Japan"
Hmm? I wonder why

1 day ago

why xbox failed in japan? playstation, nintendo....

2 days ago

After 2 months,ignoring this video now i'm watching it

2 days ago

The controller were very huge for us.
The game lineups were far from our needs.
Scratch situation on the disk and sudden stop at Xbox.
Couldn't connect to the internet easy.
Odd devices in Japan were needed at development.
The Japanese subsidiary was only a carrier pigeon.


These were the reasons from us, Japanese.

3 days ago

Lmao PS4 is always up

3 days ago

Shishi no hehe

4 days ago

It’s not because it’s American, iPhones are Americans and they’re the only phones Japanese buy.

4 days ago

lol i dont own any console i got a pc lmao broke boys
jk jk jk

5 days ago

Well just paint it in Red and sell it to China. YouTube know's what's up.

5 days ago

There was one step between Playstation pitch and the Xbox - the SEGA Dreamcast. Windows CE logo adorned the front of the console. There was no Windows CE technology inside the system, but Windows CE was available to be licensed by game developers to be shipped on disc, and the official web browser that shipped with many games was based on Internet Explorer and ran in a bare bones desktopless version of Windows CE. A handful games ran in Windows CE too, but for the most part, they ran in SEGA's fully custom much more efficient system.

Dreamcast was in parallel with Microsoft's own engineering efforts, but i imagine that the short lifespan and rapid failure of Dreamcast put a lot of pressure on Xbox.

6 days ago

xbox go to hell

6 days ago

The xbox controller too big for some people.

6 days ago

Cos america had already duped japan once since the invention of computer chip, now america can't own japan afterwards

6 days ago

Nintendo & Sony were also newcomers when they first debuted. That didn't stop them.

Developers defected from Nintendo when they got too greedy, that got them eclipsed by the PSX.

Developers defected from SEGA when the Saturn was more complex to port games to. SEGA also screwed up from the jump from Megadrive to Saturn as the US screwed around with intermediate devices.

In effect, the success of one over the other was at least partially because their competitor screwed up.

6 days ago

The same reason most American products don't sell well in Japan. They prefer to support local brands due to national pride.

6 days ago

Actually not just Japan but in Asia Xbox isn't that popular but Sony and Nintendo are more popular .

6 days ago

PlayStation is vary popular in Japan because Amine.

6 days ago

0:09 HAHAHAHAHAHAHhahahahahahahahahah .... awwwwwww ......

6 days ago

Is Xbox successful anywhere except America?

6 days ago

North America isn't even the Xbox's primary region. While the USA is the largest install base of them all, it's worth noting that currently, the UK and Germany are also profitable countries for the brand and currently the countries for these regions together are what is driving Xbox One sales. Outside of them, Brazil is probably the only other real market for the Xbox. Nothing that appears on the console would interest Japanese gamers but it also goes further than that. There are issues with how content in games is handled from one country to the other and things that are taboo in Japan can be what holds back a game originally from America. Microsoft...has done nothing to rectify these issues and have proved that they don't even care on a large scale.


The Xbox One has to be advertised as a 4K Blu-Ray player to even sell at all in Japan. And people consider the Wii U a "failure" yet unlike the Xbox One, that console was able to sell millions of units of hardware and software worldwide in several countries, not just one or two primary ones.

4 days ago

I prefer PS4 as console. But I think the xbox controller is better then ps4 controller except the lb and rb buttons.

6 days ago

Reason 1
It is not suitable for Japanese sensitivity and Japanese home environment because everything is big

Reason 2
There is not much game software for Japanese

I bought Xbox360 because I wanted to play a Japanese barrage shooting game(Danmaku 2DSTG 弾幕STG)

6 days ago

Nintendo and SONY for life! 😀💯

6 days ago

Now some people will say Japanese don't have enough money to buy a console as they are talking about other Asian country ( i.e INDIA, PAKISTAN, BANGLADESH etc ) instead of understanding the theory of Demand and Supply.

1 week ago

Why would you even buy an Xbox rather play mobile

1 week ago

Ahahah it failed back then but now is a different story playstation is going mad down hill. All my ps friends switched to xbox because they can not produce good games Accessories or anything imo I'm not gunna say xbox is better in every way but it's enough to get ppl switching to where they belong lmao

1 week ago

Americans get screwed over with tech auto and fuels globally

1 week ago

BECAUSE XBOX FOR TV IT'S NOT FOR GAMING!

1 week ago

Selling sheep goat milk

1 week ago