What’s The Point Of Releasing The Xbox One In Japan, Anyway?

What’s The Point Of Releasing The Xbox One In Japan, Anyway?
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Today, Microsoft announced that the Xbox One will be out in Japan in September 2014. That’s almost a year after it was released in North America and parts of Europe. But, really, why bother?

Online in Japan, many gamers were amused by the late 2014 release. “September, lol. It’s already forgotten,” wrote one commenter on 2ch, the country’s biggest online forum. Another simply added, “September hahahahahahahahaha.”

One 2ch thread even featured translated comments of Western gamers on the Xbox One’s Japanese release — giving this article shades of Inception. (Yes, we can go deeper!)

The Xbox 360, and its predecessor before it, had a difficult time connecting with Japanese gamers — even after Microsoft went to great lengths to court them. While Microsoft products like Word and Western products like iPhones have a high acceptance rate in Japan, the Xbox never really caught on.

“Make no mistake, it will probably do worse than the 360,” added another 2ch user.

Another 2ch user wrote, “This is a complete defeat.”

“Yep, it’s over, lol,” wrote yet another.

Of course, there were gamers on 2ch who mentioned how they liked the controller and would think about buying the Xbox One should there be enough appealing exclusives — such as a new [email protected] game. On 2ch, one self-proclaimed FPS gamer called the announcement “extremely good news.”

But, another commenter quipped, “A PC is enough.”

On game blogs, the reaction was about the same. On popular site My Game News Flash, one commenter wrote, “The Xbox One’s biggest rival is the 360.” There were comparisons to the ill-fated 3DO and claims that Microsoft was low on cash.

Some didn’t like how Japan seemed to be an afterthought. One added, “If you’re going to sell it, then put all your effort into it.”

And do keep in mind, this isn’t the opinion of all Japanese gamers. At this point, maybe Microsoft figures it has enough fans outside Japan for the country not to matter as much as it did in the past. And yes, there still are hardcore Xbox fans in Japan, and some people will buy the Xbox One when it’s finally released in the country… in September.

But, by then, with the PS4 and the Wii U having more and more titles, people certainly being able to import consoles on their own, and a general aversion to the Xbox in Japan, why even bother?

「Xbox One」 9月発売予定 詳細は4月下旬に公開 [2ch]

Xbox Oneが日本含む26カ国で9月発売決定、欧米での反応は [2ch]

Photo: Jamzy at Famitsu


  • Yeah, i’m sure they will sell some..

    I know a lot of people here in AU who don’t even care about the “console wars” because the market for either console simply isn’t established enough.. With too many cross-generation games, not enough exclusives.

  • That is rather weak on Microsoft’s behalf, as i highly doubt that many people will wait until september to start the next gen consoles

    • Don’t kid yourself, the last cycle went for how long? 6, 7 years? This one will probably go just as long, if not longer.

      Kids who are literally crapping their pants right now and playing with their food, will likely be teenagers before we see the last of the Xbox One (or PS4 for that matter).

  • The only interest Japanese gamers had for the console was because of Titanfall. But I’m not sure that will be enough.

      • No, because they can get it on PC now, and 360 in a few weeks. They can’t play it on the XB1 until September.

        • Depends on the release date for both versions (I haven’t looked up the release dates in Japan).

        • I was just making a joke about the Xbone having nothing to offer but Titanfall. You get out of here with your logic.

    • I’ll add the the line for Titanfall at Tokyo Game Show last year was 3 hours long, much longer than any other demo at the show. Currently it’s advertised in the big games shops on demo TVs, though only for 360.

      • So the people who want it will go the distance to get it on PC or settle for the 360 version. I don’t see many people then transiting over to the Xbone.

  • They can Laugh all they want but their own freaking brand, Sony, took 4 months to release their console… I think that’s 10 times funnier and far more a slap the face!!

  • On one hand, I’d feel pretty miffed if I was a Japanese Xbox fan (that’s right. all five of you). On the other… is there anything on the Xbone that the average Japanese gamer would actually enjoy by September? This has been a pretty slow start for both consoles.

  • Yeah, the PS4 will likely prove to be a flop in Japan. A good move on MS part to swoop in and bank that competition, west coast style!

  • Why so much hate?.of course they will sell a couple of thousands if not millions in japan and the rest of countries. Playstation fanboys think only their console of choice is the only choice of others… like is a.must!! Whats wrong with expanding theyr product, cant go wrong, i think ps fanboys are scare xbox beating the 6mill number, after that they wont be able to talk crap about the stupid ps4

  • Some didn’t like how Japan seemed to be an afterthought.

    Not surprised seeing as Japan is now very niche compared to say 10 or 15 years ago, I daresay it’s almost irrelevant compared to the NA and EU markets now (and has been for a few years). Hell, the Wii U and PS4 released in a foreign market before releasing in their company’s home country which speaks volumes. Some people just can’t accept that the NA market is the big fish.

    The whole Japan thing is unfair towards MS. They’re literally damned if they do and damned if they don’t. I remember last generation they made an effort and released games like Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey and Ninety Nine Nights and still people shat on them just because they’re not a Japanese company. Then when they say “fuck it” and stop, they get shat on even more.

    I wouldn’t even bother with such a xenophobic market to be honest.

    • Yeah I’d still get the product there eventually, I just wouldn’t make a song and dance about it. The biggest losses ms have made this gen are the US and EU markets. I have plenty of friends on my 360 (from europe) that wont be able to get an x1 till september and have already jumped ship.

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