Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Today, the Xbox One finally went on sale in Japan. The launch looked rather depressing. But maybe you saw that coming, right?

Granted, these days, it's really hard to tell how hardware does. People can order stuff online, so there isn't the same emphasis on launch lines, like as in the past. That being said, if there are lots of people waiting for something — say, Yokai Watch toys — then it's possible to make a popularity assumption. But that is exactly what it is: an assumption.

Still, the Xbox One launch in Japan looks like a total downer. I'm sure there are Japanese gamers excited to get it, and a few people did appear to line up for the console. But, man, these photos circulating online do not look good for the Xbox One's chances in Japan.

Note that today is September 4 in Japan.

As Japanese game site Inside pointed out, Xbox Japan held a special mid-night launch countdown event. Everyone seems so excited counting down to today.

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: GameSparkChannel

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: Microsoft Japan

Look at all those people at the Xbox One live stream event!

But as shown online, lots of people weren't exactly lining up for the console.

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: DC

This is Yodobashi-Akiba, an enormous electronics store in Tokyo geek district Akihabara. According to Twitter user DC, nobody is in line.

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: Inside

The sign marks the start of the Xbox One line for the Shinjuku Yodobashi Camera. According to Inside, the man in the background, playing a PS Vita, said he wasn't waiting for the Xbox One. Inside reports that, at this time, nobody was lined up for the console.

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: Inside

According to Inside, nobody was at the Bic Camera in Tokyo's Shinjuku, either. This photo was taken at around midnight.

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: nano2118

Again, another shot of Yodobashi-Akiba. This was taken at around 1am.

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: nano2118

And here is Sofmap in Akihabara at around the same time. The red sign reads, "On sale today!"

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: siteqube

But wait! Here are people apparently buying Xbox One consoles at Yodobashi-Akiba. Oh, right, this is the guy that was hosting the official Xbox One launch livestream.

However, the person with him supposedly was a live stream viewer who decided to come buy the Xbox One. At least, that's what Xbox Japan's official Twitter account says. Maybe this person was in line and just didn't appear in any photos. Who knows.

I called Yodobashi-Akiba to ask what time they opened today and was told 9:30am. Inside, which cohosted the Xbox One stream, reported the same thing, so I'm not exactly sure what's going on in this photo. Anyway...

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: Inside

This is Labi, a huge electronics store, in Tokyo's Ikebukuro. The above photo was taken at around 2am. It was empty.

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: Kaztsu

Twitter user Kaztsu uploaded this photo of Yodobashi-Akiba this morning. This is at 8am, but the top photo for this article is at around 6am.

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: Uralanyan

Same shop, but at around 8:09AM. The people on the right are going to work. The people on the left — oh, wait.

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: kaztsu

There were fliers for the Xbox One. The Sofmap in Akihabara gave into to those lining up about when the Xbox One would be going on sale.

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: ponimoe

Nobody waiting at Sofmap.

So, you might think, well, this is a workday, so of course nobody is going to line up for stuff.

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: unicorng88

Above is a line this morning of eleven people waiting to eat stewed cow tongue at a restaurant called Tankiyo.

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: GameSpark

GameSpark, which co-hosted the Xbox One live stream with Inside, uploaded one of the only photos I've seen so far with people lined up for the Xbox One. This was taken at Yodobashi-Akiba. According to GameSpark, there were seven people lined up right before the door opened at 9:30am. Mainichi, however, uploaded a photo as well and reports that there were ten people in line. That's almost as many who waited for cow tongue!

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: Kaztsu

For comparison's sake, here's a photo Kaztsu took of when the PS4 went on sale at Yodobashi-Akiba.

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: unicorng88

And here is a photo taken around noon at the Yodobashi-Akiba of the Xbox One launch event. Twitter user Unicorn described it as "quiet."

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: Inside

This is the Yodobashi Camera in Shinjuku. Still, nobody is in line.

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: Inside

Back to Bic Camera.

Japanese consumers do buy foreign products, whether they are Apple hardware or German cars, when they think they're the best. For one reason or another, Microsoft was never able to convince people that the Xbox 360 was the best.

Because of the lack of Japanese interest, that's perhaps why the Xbox One isn't getting nearly the push the Xbox 360 did. For instance, I don't recall seeing an Xbox One ad on Japanese television. The staggered release date, months behind the PS4's Japanese release, didn't help, either. Moreover, Japanese gamers who really, really wanted an Xbox One probably already imported one. And so, here we are.

But! Like with anything, maybe the Xbox One will have a slow burn. Maybe people will swing by and pick up consoles during the day and throughout the week. The photos look sad, sure, but they only supplement the forthcoming sales figures. We'll know soon enough how those look.

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: Microsoft Japan

Japan's Xbox One Launch Looks Sad As You'd Expect

Picture: Microsoft Japan

Xbox One特集 [Inside]

Update: While AP is reporting that the Xbox One Japan launch "fell flat on Thursday, with journalists covering the debut far outnumbering buyers," Japanese site My Game News notes that the launch event stream was viewed by over 200,000 people and 72.5 per cent said the stream was "very good." Perhaps everyone was at home watching it...


Comments

    Bloody hell. Could you be any more condescending ?

    Everyone knew it was not going to do well in Japan. I knew, you knew, everyone knew.

      I can't find any other way to describe it than well, sad, and it isn't even a PS vs Xbox thing. I remember seeing photos of the PS3's Sydney launch when it was a solid $999. Myer erected barricades in Pitt St expecting to hold off what they thought would be rabid fans. More staff and media people showed than actual customers. This somehow looks even worse.

      Does this make u cri

    The bigger issue isn't the Xbone not having any interest, (the PS4 has bombed spectacularly over there, worse than the WiiU). It's that Japan seems to have moved on from home consoles, the 3DS and Vita are both selling very well.

    This is like porn for PS4 fanboys

      i own both consoles, prefer my ps4 by a longshot, but i dont think anyone should be happy about this... lack of competition is horrible, and holds back innovation, and fair pricing.

      this is sad indeed,

        Wait you mean like how consoles are holding back innovation for PC gaming?

          to add to my comment; I am also a PC gamer.

          Truth is though, consoles arent holding back PC gaming as much as you may think. There is no reason why a dev couldnt pump more resources into the pc version and ship it with higher poly counts, better shader and particle effects etc. They dont because its not worth the added investment versus the return on said investment.

          believe it or not the AAA gaming space is slowly declining. not many studios are willing to invest millions of dollars anymore. nonetheless triple their development costs to jazz up their art assets and ship a stunning looking pc game to a very limited market that can afford to always have the latest and greatest.

          It's all money.
          Top of the line gaming rigs aren't the majority in the market and it's more profitable to make a game for a larger audience and skim out on making things more shiny. As the tech improves costs and time goes up, it's easier to make slight improvements over a long time frame.
          It's called commercialism.

          The only thing holding back PC is business parading as developers

    Mobile is definitely where Japan is, but the xbone was always going to have a terrible time there, and Microsoft absolutely knows it. They deliberately made the new console more America-centric with their tv/sports stuff, they sacrificed the rest of the world to win America, and they still haven't got that market tied down.

    I can't think of an RPG except Diablo I'd want to play on the XB1 right now which is pretty western styled, and Japan isn't exactly huge on the typical western games like FPS. Plus they get crazy TV and set top box features over there made specifically for Japan already, so getting a slow rollout of features being regionalised from the US isn't exactly appealing to them.

      Japan isn't exactly huge on the typical western games like FPS

      Except when it comes to Battlefield 4. They're everywhere on the servers here.

    Said it before and I'm saying it again, why bother releasing the x1 in Japan?

      Just because people aren't queuing up like rabid consumer whores on launch day doesn't mean there isn't a market worth selling to.

        I guess we have to wait and see if the Japanese X1 market was worth "selling to". I'm pretty sure I can say right now that it's (the Jap X1 market) not even worth the cost of localizing the games/support/kinect.

        If those resources had gone into getting the x1 out in the "rest" of Europe a week or 2 earlier, that money could have been made back by now. Not sitting unsold on a Japanese store shelf till the end of the generation.

        Last edited 05/09/14 8:35 am

          Thats the key point actually! We complain that we don't get enough Japanese games because the cost of localising it is too expensive and they don't think they will recoup the money. Some games like Destiny have already said that it'll be a Playstation exclusive in Japan because they decided that they don't think they will make their money back on localisation.

        Indeed. Japan packs in around 100 million more people than here. It's probably far more profitable to sell the Xbone in Japan than in Australia, weak interest or no.

          I'd love to see the numbers broken down for us by the end of the generation.

          IIRC the 360 ended up selling about the same in Australia and Japan.

          Last edited 05/09/14 2:20 pm

          We're profitable because we're a vocal group of early adopters, giving us a good experience is good advertising.

    Japanese Writing frustrates me is has no logic. it would take me ages just to write one word

      Japanese writing don't just represent one letter, you could say it's quicker than Western writing

      Your inability to write correct English frustrates me.

      What do you mean it has no logic? Can you give an example? Once you've actually properly memorised Japanese it's wonderful, because you can easily cut all the "fluff" that English has with all its extra filler words. You can practically write an essay on twitter with Japanese, while it's ridiculously hard to express yourself in English there (hello gamergate discussion).

      Last edited 05/09/14 2:23 pm

    The Xbox One looks like an even worse position compared to the PS3 at launch. At least there was still quite a number of people queueing up for the PS3 at launch.

      Yeah except 8 years ago console gaming in Japan was still relatively popular, so the fact that the ps3 launch was more stocked than the Xbox one 8 years later isn't exactly a big surprise.

      Also it's worth noting that despite how "terribly" the Xbox one is doing, it's still doing better than the 360 was at this point. The ps4 is doing incredibly, which doesn't mean the xbone is failing, just that the ps4 set new benchmarks for a fast selling console of its price.

      Everyone rejoice this gen is actually selling really well, better than last gen was at this time in its cycle.

      There were quite a number of people queuing for the Xbone too... just in countries where people play actually it. Japan has never been Microsoft's market. This isn't really surprising to anyone.

      Also, it's not as though the Xbone is selling poorly. It's just selling poorly compared to the PS4.

      Last edited 05/09/14 9:37 am

    Im so confused, I mean Xbox has so many RPGs and Japan is an RPG oriented player base.... oh wait a second.....

    I'm in the photo of the PS4 line in front of Yodobashi-Akiba (red beanie/grey jacket) lol.

    Yeah guess which one is going to dominate in good old japan hating china, where both consoles launch soon.

      To be fair, the Chinese government also demonises imperliaistic pigdog america too.

        That is true, but they have not nearly had an outbreak of shooting at each other with the US lately either.

          Speculating which console will do better based on geopolitics is unwise. People aren't drones and don't automatically base purchasing decisions on nationalistic grudges. If they did, no self-respecting American would have bought a German or Japanese car after WWII. I like to think that a savvy demographic like gamers would just buy what they want, regardless of the party line.

    I live in Japan and I didn't even realise it was releasing already. Maybe a month ago I saw the first xbone demo units set up in shops, but the crowds were all gathered at the units next to them- the Wii U Hyrule Warriors demo...

      That looks good, although it seems as a Wii-U owner I might be left with the choice of online only soon. Retailers are dropping it like a bad smell here.

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