It's no secret that in video game history several companies went through difficult moments when they tried to establish themselves in a new market, but one of the most notable cases of internal resistance in a video game market is undoubtedly that of the Japanese market, the Xbox brand, a brand that, despite its relative worldwide success, never had good results in the Japanese market.
And despite this “failure” being well known, this story is well unknown and very commonly misinterpreted, mainly by the gamer community online, which makes a lot of memes and constantly use it to say that they lower the platform, but let's analyze this story and show what left the Xbox brand like this in Japan.
A Difficult Start for Xbox in Japan
The Xbox brand got off to a pretty rocky start in Japan long before it was even released, yes, that's right, before the console was even released, the creators knew that competing in the Japanese market was essential to ensure that Japanese developers developed games for the console and help popularize the console in the country (which at the time was one of the biggest markets for home consoles).
But 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 didn't work out very well, why? besides not convincing Japanese gamers, there was a lot of competition from Nintendo and Sony, which were much more allied with the developers and already had more market dominance and popularity.
But despite all these difficulties, the console managed a small success, with about 450 thousand units sold in Japan (a number very different from its competitors in the country) even so the console still had some exclusives (such as Dead or Alive 3 and Metal Wolf Chaos).
New Generations and More Problems
With the company's new console about to be launched, Microsoft used a strategy very similar to the one it used with the Original Xbox, but 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 only repeated itself, 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 units worldwide), this without a doubt made microsoft rethink its strategies and leave the japanese market a little aside, not only because this was an investment with no return, but also because of the growth of portable consoles (an area dominated by nintendo) and mobile games in the world. country, which affected not only the Xbox 360, but also all home console sales in the country that had drastic sales drops.
And at the launch of the 8th generation of consoles, the Xbox One launches in Japan (almost 1 year after the rest of the world), and it has a tragic launch with only 1,639 units sold, and less than 70,000 units sold to date (with the Xbox One S was already sold as a Blu-ray player ), this time, the problem was not only with the lack of popularity, but also with a non-existent marketing and little or almost no investment in content, and in a market dominated by mobile games and handheld consoles, which has only diminished the interest of gamers.
Microsoft's fault 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 this 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 poorly received, that is, even when it was more dedicated, it was still ignored by the market and ended up failing Japanese players, who are now increasingly
But in addition, it must be remembered that the Xbox brand was not the first to fail in the country, with several others having not even had a chance, this is typical in a country where national products are more valued, not necessarily because they are better. , but for the simple fact that this is the culture of the Japanese people, but that doesn't mean it's not possible, because companies like McDonald's and Apple are relatively successful.
Is there still hope for Xbox in Japan?
Since the launch of the Xbox One in Japan the situation seems to have not changed, 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 to believe, that maybe in the near future Microsoft will try something new in the Japanese lands, but that, only the future will say!
And you, do you think 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 subject…