While the Xbox 360 may not be the dominating force in the Japanese game market, it has its loyal fans and indeed Microsoft has recognised that, holding special events to both gather support and show appreciation. For example, when the Xbox 360 launched, Microsoft created a special Xbox 360 lounge and even a created a large Xbox 360 “monument.”
So with the Xbox One, the Western-centric E3 presentation and lack of any Japanese release date other than “2014” as well as a dearth of ridiculous PR stunts has had some wondering if Japan was taking a backseat in the Microsoft playbook.
Kotaku managed to talk with Xbox One lead planner Albert Penello at this year’s Tokyo Game Show and asked him if Japan was no longer a high priority for Microsoft. His answer was simple and to the point: “We’re totally committed to the Japanese market.”
One of the biggest challenges with the launch of Xbox One has been making it compatible with the many different countries it will be released in. Differences in language and cultural standards is a huge hurdle for developing a console that has as many ambitious features as the Xbox One.
According to Penello, these challenges appear to be why Microsoft has not set a specific release date for Japan yet. “We will announce [the release] when we have more high confidence,” Penello explained. “So we don’t get into some of the challenges we’ve had with this launch.”
In regards to the lack of Xbox One hype in Japan, that will also come after the release date announcement. The same can be said for other areas that still do not have an official release date. Said Penello enthusiastically, “We want it to be great where it launches.”