Xbox in Japan, Failure or Pure Disinterest?


It is no secret that video game history several companies went through difficult times when they sought to settle in a new market, but one of the most notable cases of internal resistance in a video game market is undoubtedly the Japanese brand, the Xbox brand, a brand that despite its relative worldwide success, never achieved good results in the Japanese market.

And although this “failure” is well known, this story is very unknown and very commonly misinterpreted, mainly by gamer community online, which makes a lot of memes and constantly uses it to say that it makes the platform inferior, but let's analyze this story and show what left the Xbox brand like that in Japan.

A Difficult Start for the Xbox in Japan

The Xbox brand had a very complicated start in Japan long before it was even released, yes, that's right, before the console was even launched, the creators knew that competing in the Japanese market was essential to ensure that Japanese developers develop games for the console and help popularize the console in the country (which at the time was one of the largest domestic console markets).

Xbox no japão, fracasso ou puro desinteresse?


However, even with some partnerships and even the participation of Bill Gates in many events and in the promotion of the console for developers, the marketing did not work very well, why? in addition to not convincing Japanese gamers, there was a very big competition from Nintendo and Sony, who were much more allied with the developers and already had more market dominance and popularity.

But in spite of all these difficulties, the console achieved a small success, with about 450 thousand Units sold in Japan (Number quite different from its competitors in the country). Even so, the console still had some exclusives (like Dead or Alive 3 and Metal Wolf Chaos).

New Generations and More Problems

With the company's new console about to launch, Microsoft used a strategy very similar to the one it used with the Original Xbox, however, this time it bet much higher, with more exclusive games like Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon and games of greater appeal. to the Japanese public, in addition to more aggressive marketing, but history has only been repeated, and again the console did not sell as expected (about 1.6 million units in Japan, a fraction of its more than 89.5 million worldwide), this undoubtedly made microsoft rethink its strategies and put the Japanese market a little aside, not only because this was an investment with no return, but also due to the growth of portable consoles (area dominated by nintendo) and mobile games in the country, which affected not only the Xbox 360, but also all domestic console sales in the country that saw drastic sales declines.

Xbox no japão, fracasso ou puro desinteresse?

And at the launch of the 8th generation of consoles, the Xbox One is released in Japan (almost 1 year after the rest of the world), and has a tragic launch with only 1,639 units sold, and with less than 70,000 units sold today (of which the Xbox One S has already been sold as a Blu-ray player), this time, the problem was not only with the lack of popularity, but also with non-existent marketing and little or almost no investment in content, and in a market dominated by mobile games and portable consoles, which only diminished the interest of players.


Fault of Microsoft or the Japanese market?

In a way both sides have a bearing on this question, as we clearly see that despite all the investment, the company forgot to deliver what the Japanese wanted in the beginning, Japanese games, and even when they noticed it with the Xbox 360 and invested a lot of money in the production of more games and in the marketing for the promotion of these games, it was badly received, that is, even when it was dedicated more it was ignored by the market and ended up failing in conquests the Japanese players, who are now more and more

But in addition, you must remember that the Xbox brand was not the first to fail in the country, with several others not even having a chance, this is typical in a country where national products are more valued, not because they are necessarily better , but for the simple fact that this is the culture of the Japanese people, but that does not mean that it is not possible, as companies like McDonald`s and Apple are relatively successful.

Xbox no japão, fracasso ou puro desinteresse?

Is there still hope for the Xbox in Japan?

Since the launch of the Xbox One in Japan the situation does not seem to change, but since Phill Spencer, director of the Xbox division has been making some visits to Japan and with the launch of the Xbox One X things have been improving, with more and more Japanese games appearing. on the console and more commercial partnerships (such as the exclusive marketing of games like Dragon Ball Super and Code Vein), which leads us to believe that maybe in the near future Microsoft will try something new in the Japanese lands, but that, only the future will say!

Do you think the Xbox can still be successful in Japan? Do you think it's the fault of the Japanese market's lack of interest? What do you think would solve this? またね!

Finally, let’s leave Velberan’s opinion on this matter…