Tales of Vesperia is launching in Japan soon. August 7th, actually. And some people seem pretty excited. It's the tenth entry in the Tales series. The Namco Bandai title is an Xbox 360 exclusive, so that just might mean that Microsoft will move more than it's standard 3,000 Xbox 360s a week in Japan. Or not.
As of posting, Amazon Japan is sold out of new HDMI Xbox 360s (but does have Elites). HAPPINET, one of the major Xbox 360 distributors in Japan, are sold out of everything but the Elite. According to game store clerk threads on 2ch, the Xbox 360 will be restocked after Tales of Vesperia is released. What's more, the Tales of Versperia bundle is apparently limited to something like 7,000.
The reason for the shortages?
According to a 2ch. shop clerks thread, the problem is on the distribution end for the Tales of Vesperia bundle. And for the regular Xbox 360s, there could be increasing demand for Tales and other Japan-specific Xbox 360 titles. That, and the fact that there really weren't that many consoles in stock to begin with. Retailers obviously don't want to get burnt. Then there's always the matter of clearing out space for the new 60GB SKU.
Others think that the shortage is on purpose, because HAPPINET is run by Namco Bandai. Hey, if shortages work for Nintendo! Then again, this isn't Nintendo... This is Xbox Japan. They probably want to move as many consoles as possible.
But does that mean it's impossible to get an Xbox 360 in Japan at the moment? No, obviously not. Commenter Muu was recently in Tokyo for THE [email protected] concert, telling us "I did see 360s still sitting around, but then again that's one of the biggest electronics hubs in the largest metropolitan area".
Thanks for the tip, Muu!