Japan's Advice For The Next Xbox

Japan loves foreign products — Apple, BMW, and even Red Wings shoes are popular here. Yet, there's the Xbox 360. Gathering dust on store shelves in cities like Tokyo and Osaka. Unloved. People in Japan just don't care! Poor Xbox.

The original Xbox was a failure in Japan. The Xbox 360 was a failure in Japan. Microsoft's gaming console and Japan just don't get along. Its heart already belongs to two other hardware makers: Nintendo and Sony.

So what can Microsoft do to win over Japanese gamers?

Here is some unsolicited advice from 2ch, Japan's largest online forum.

"Give away the console for free".

"From the moment PS4 comes out, a flawless victory is impossible."

"If they did a better job of promoting Kinect, it would do well."

"Stop calling it Xbox. It might be cool over there, but in Japan, the name is very strong and seems very junior high. Thus, it doesn't appeal to women and children."

"Name it PlayStation. Well, that might be impossible..."

"It seems hard to sell as a game machine. Bundle it with Kinect and brain training software, pegging it to education, and try to venture into a new market share."

"[The Xbox brand] looks like it's been a mistake. If you compare it to Apple, it seems hillbilly. I don't think they should do any promotion."

"They should put a boy band in their commercials. Oh wait."

"There's nothing. (Quick reply)"

"The image for 'Box is that it only appeals to core male gamers, so they need to make and promote content that appeals to everyone and doesn't stink of Western games."

"Buy Nintendo."

"I want them to continue flooding us with RPGs."

"Buy Square Enix. Make Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy exclusive. Then, they'll win Japan."

"I'll buy it if they put out a Halo and a Gears of War. In truth, the PC is enough for me."

What does Japan matter? With this generation drawing to a close, the Xbox 360 and the PS3 global sales numbers are neck and neck. If Japan were to tip slightly more in Microsoft's favour, the Xbox 360 could take a decisive lead. Only 1.59 million Xboxes have been sold in Japan; in comparison, 10 million PS3s have been sold and over 12 million Wii consoles. Will Microsoft have better luck with its next console?

In case you missed it, here's Kotaku's exclusive report on the next Xbox.

次世代XBOXが日本で売れる方法を考えよう [2ch]


Comments

    They're right about the name. It's pretty dorky.

    I always wondered about the name...does the "x" mean "extreme"?

      The "x" is a reference to "DirectX" which is like a game programming language used on the PC.

        aww man...the reality is far less extreme than I hoped...

        Last edited 27/02/13 8:08 am

      Used to stand for DirectX Box during development

    The thing is dead in Japan. For the past 5 years, the Xbox has simply been seen as a "Halo/Gears/ CoD/Kinect-box". That's all it has now. Japanese gamers absolutely hate generic brown-and-bloom shooters, and I remember reading that most of them couldn't use Kinect because their apartments were too small.

    What sucks is that before 2008, MS were actually trying. They managed to get Final Fantasy on their console along with games like Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey. Microsoft have pretty much given up and shafted them since then though. They shouldn't even release the next Xbox there imo, it'll just be a waste of money for them.

      Yeah THATS the reason why and not the fact that Japan as nice as it is, is one of the most xenophobic places in the world... Of course the gaijins xbox wont sell well. Its foreign. Not made in Japan by japanese.

        Did you not read the first words of the article, you know, the part where it reads: "Japan loves foreign products".

          Did you not read the ACTUAL article?

          "so they need to make and promote content that appeals to everyone and doesn’t stink of Western games."

          Out of touch with reality much? The japanese are possibly one of the most xenophobic culture in the world. The thing is theyre polite about it so it isnt as apparent as you may think.

    I'll be honest - I've never seen the appeal of the PS3.
    What is it about it that allows it to outsell the Xbox?

      oh i duno, Uncharted, Heavy Rain, God of war, infamous, demons souls, metal gear solid 4 (which made a very late debut on xbox).

      Xbox exclusives hold no appeal to me except Splinter Cell (which was kinda dissapointing), and Alan Wake.

      To the average person?

      Brand name: Sony equals the expensive television they just bought. Microsoft equals the bloody computer at work that keeps breaking down after they opened those emails from the Prince of Nigeria.

      Having a Blu-Ray drive helps to sell it as a sort of living room multimedia hub.

      For the gamer, the PSN being free compared to the ongoing cost of XBox Live is attractive. Playstation Plus, as I understand, is great value if you do choose to pay.

    please get Gears of War for PS3/PS4.... i love the game!! That's the only game i love for XBOX and the only reason I would buy one!! but just for the single series?? It's not worth for me buying an XBOX.... love PlayStation for it's exclusives.... Metal Gear series, Final Fantasy series, Uncharted series.... PlayStation is just so much better!

      You have different taste to other people!! Wow! Epic Games should base its business decisions off you and you alone! Because of opinions!!

    Japan gets more irrelevant by the generation.

    If I was Microsoft, I'd be putting that money and effort into Europe.

    If they ARE going to bother with Japan, strike a deal with a Japanese hardware company like Toshiba or Panasonic and get them to distribute the Xbox under a completely new name. Only chance.

      That's actually an excellent idea, I have to admit their is still some shame saying I own an xbox instead of a playstation at 30 years old. I know why they called it that, but it is the most American thing I've ever heard o.O

        If you feel shame in owning one console over another, then that's got more to do with you than anything else. I never felt any shame in owning any one particular console over another. Stupid comment is stupid.

          Ive often thought that they should rekease the xbox in Japan under the SEGA brand

            Not an entirely silly idea at all, it carries a lot of positives..

    they should just make a deal with sega, and distribute as the sega mega drive 4 or genesis mk4. Damn straight it will sell well in Japan. And will also bring sega back to life. Screw it SEGA JUST MAKE DREAMCAST 2!!! You could call it the sega blowjob an I would still buy it.

    “Buy Square Enix. Make Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy exclusive. Then, they’ll win Japan.”

    haha I can imagine the shitstorm on the internet by Playstation fans.

    The reason xbox fails is because it's like 90% generic template american shooter games (which might be fine in say, america), but there just arn't enough RPGs for it to have any appeal.

      I dunno why you're being voted down for this...

    I haven't used my 360 in years. Unfortunately I bought one for $40, and got a few games to go with it, and I was invested. Then it blew up and I had to buy a new one since I had some games. Should've known better than to buy a new one since I've barely touched it. It's exactly what people say-- a Halo and GoW box. And as for Kinect not working in small rooms... my friend who has the biggest lounge room I know still can't use Kinect well, because his lounge is too small. I imagine Kinect is for the 1%ers with huge lounges.

    They shouldn't have pissed away so much money on Japan; Australia was a much bigger success for them, yet they did nothing but spit on us....

      Population of Japan = 127 Million
      Population of Australia = 22 Million

      And as you say they had much greater success in Australia without trying so can see why they didn't throw money at us.

      That being said it is pretty annoying that Australia is pretty much an after thought for most corporations regarding marketing/release schedules/pricing (or price gouging).

        The difference is we want the console. Japan already loves two home grown companies.

    Xenophobia is just a thing that happens in Japan, a regular and accepted everyday part of life.

    In truth Japan accounts for dwindling and increasingly irrelevant market so there is no need for oganisations with international focuses to pander to the sensibilities of one single nation. Publishers will squirt out whatever old dross will be profitable whether anybody likes it or not and Japan is just along for the ride, the same as everybody else.

    Offer a free pair of worn underwear and the xbox might be a hit!

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