Microsoft Promises More Japanese Support For Xbox One At E3

Microsoft Promises More Japanese Support For Xbox One At E3

You might have noticed that this week’s Xbox One event was very… Western. Microsoft’s snazzy entertainment functions are all designed for American televisions. The games — FIFA, Call of Duty, Quantum Break — were all made by Western developers.

Other than a two-second appearance by Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima, there wasn’t much for fans of Japanese games to get excited about.

Microsoft has traditionally failed to sell Xboxes in Japan, so it could be safe to conclude that the publisher isn’t all that interested in Eastern products. So we asked Microsoft vice president Phil Harrison: where are the Japanese games? His answer: we’ll see more at E3.

Here’s the full transcript:

Stephen Totilo: I know this was not a gaming-centric event, but it did feel very America-centric. While I saw Hideo Kojima in the beginning, there really was no presence from Japanese publishers or developers. You guys have said the system is coming out worldwide at the same time. Can you say anything about global support, or at least Japanese game development for this?

Harrison: If that was your take-out, that was not intentional. You will see at E3 games from four continents — three, well, yeah, three and a big continent. You will see, throughout the rest of the year, between now and launch, a number of occasions where we will tell a more local story that is customised and more regionalized, but this, by necessity, had to be a more global message. Since we were doing it here in America, a lot of the TV was Americanized.

We also asked a Microsoft representative if the console will be region-locked — that is, if each system will only play games compatible with its specific region. Today’s consoles are almost all region-locked.

Their answer: no comment.

Here’s hoping we’ll see something compelling at Microsoft’s press conference in a couple of weeks. Lost Odyssey 2 would be lovely.


  • They can shove that American set top box where the sun don’t shine. I doubt it will do good internationally.

    • At least they don’t need to region lock it if all the people it’s relevant to live in the same region anyway.

  • Sure Microsoft can promise more Japanese support but will the Japanese support Microsoft?

  • There will be Japanese games on the Xbox, but there will be few Xboxes in Japan

  • Other than a two-second appearance by Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima, there wasn’t much for fans of Japanese games to get excited about.

    There wasn’t much for fans of GAMES to get excited about…

  • Why did you spell “customise” with an S but spelt “regionalized” with a Z?

  • This disaster just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Nobody wants their tv box. We as gamers want a console not an all round tv box. We got computers for that and many homes I’m noticing now have already hooked up their pcs to their tvs.

  • No Comment = “Trying to find the best way to give you news you really don’t want to hear.”
    “I’m going to let someone else tell you, so you can yell at them and not me.”

  • By “Japanese support” I assume he was talking about the Japanese TV networks and possibly their professional baseball and/or soccer leagues?

  • Well Dead or Alive games were luanch titles on both previous Xbox consoles.

  • I somehow doubt that Japanese are going to care.

    As a % of total sales, the original Xbox and the 360 account for just over 2% of total worldwide sales.

  • The main issue is that the way they advertised the box as a tv box is that they seem to be going after the people who can’t figure out their remote control, and I seriously doubt that Japan has much crossover between “people too technologically incompetent to switch the video input on the tv” and “people who buy video game consoles”.

    So unless they can offer actual exclusive content, I doubt that anyone in Japan (or really, any of the major markets that Microsoft is in) will have a reason to buy one for the tv box features (especially given that the US seems to be BEHIND when it comes to the quality of pay tv set top boxes, which makes the Xbox even less relevant as an enhancement to cable boxes).

    So yeah, one of Microsoft’s major marketing points for their new console is of very little relevance to places outside the US. So their best bet would be to secure some long term exclusivity deals with companies the niche genres that helped keep the Xbox from completely dieing in Japan (shmups, Idolm@ster type games and so forth) if they want to have any hope of the Xbox One to sell to more than just the most hardcore of console collectors.

  • They need to try. Every other console game purchase made otherwise will be money in either Sony or Nintendo’s pocket. They can’t afford to outright give up on the few loyal customers they have left – it’s about consolidating what you have as much as attracting new wallets.
    I reckon they’ll do as much as they have to to keep their fanbase, but not enough to build upon it.

  • I used to go to a new and used game store in Japan when i lived there. There were shelves and shelves of ps2, ps3, ds a well as dreamcast, mega drive, snes… And tucked in the back of the shop, one small rack for xbox. Its a lost battle if you dont win the minds early

    • I spent a good couple of hours in one of those shops when I was there. The Xbox section was paltry.
      And they had a machine which popped out random GB cartridges for ¥500. I miss that place.

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