Xbox 360 dead in Japan?

Discussion in 'User Submitted News' started by prowler, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. prowler

    prowler Sony

    Jul 14, 2009
    The Xbox 360's life appears to be coming to an end in Japan, with hardware sales falling, retailers beginning to turn their back on the console, and the system's last high-profile Japanese exclusive headed to PlayStation 3.

    In June, Microsoft announced that Japanese Xbox 360 sales had finally passed 1.5 million units since the system's release in 2005, but that should not be taken as a sign that its fortunes are improving. Media Create data for the year to date puts Xbox 360 hardware sales at just 72,721 units, a drop of 46.7 per cent on the same period last year. Sales of its rival, Sony's PlayStation 3, have also fallen year on year, but only by 17.1 per cent, to 735,637 units.

    The slump in sales has, we understand, caused many Japanese videogame retailers to contemplate dropping the Xbox 360 altogether. Geo, the nation's largest specialist retailer, is drastically scaling back its Xbox 360 business, and staff at electronics retailer Yamada Denki in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, confirmed that the company is removing hardware and software from the majority of its stores nationwide, and is selling off its remaining stock at a heavy discount. It will still sell the console and games, but only in selected stores where the system continues to be sufficiently popular.

    In Tokyo's smaller, specialist stores, Xbox 360 consoles and games are beginning to appear in bargain bins, or "wagon sales". Games can be had for as little as ¥100 (79p), with one store selling the Halo: Reach hardware bundle for ¥9,980 (£79.30).

    Perhaps the biggest indicator of the Xbox 360's struggles in Japan is the fate of The Idolmaster. Namco Bandai's pop-star management game, first released in arcades in 2005, was an Xbox 360 exclusive, its 2007 release reportedly causing a rush of new Xbox Live signups and a sharp increase in sales of Microsoft Points.

    While PSP and DS releases followed, it was Microsoft's last high-profile console exclusive, and a sequel was released in February. It sold 34,621 copies in the week of its release, entering the Japanese all-formats chart at number ten, but the following week, it did not even make the top 40. The 2009 PSP release sold around 122,000 copies in its first week, and was in the top 40 for five weeks in total.

    As such it was no surprise when, late last month, Namco Bandai announced that it would be porting Idolmaster 2 to PlayStation 3, with the Xbox 360 version's DLC included.

    With mobile games increasingly popular in Japan - the sector's rise driven by mobile social networks like Gree and Mobage - cross-platform connectivity is becoming increasingly important as companies seek to protect their traditional sources of revenue.

    Sony is becoming increasingly aware of this, with the upcoming Monster Hunter HD, the first game released for PS3 as part of the PSP Remaster series, allowing a single save file to be shared between PS3 and PSP. Microsoft, of course, has no portable console. With PSP still selling in huge numbers in Japan, and Vita set for release before the end of the year, it's little surprise that publisher eyes are drawn towards Sony: after all, cross-platform play means selling two games instead of one.

    Kinect has done much to extend the 360's life in the west, sales of 8 million units in its first 60 days seeing it awarded a Guinness World Record, named the fastest-selling consumer electronics device of all time. In Japan, it was outsold on launch by PlayStation Move - no great surprise given PS3's far larger installed base - with one retailer saying shortly after launch that, far from helping sell the console to a wider audience, it was only being bought by existing Xbox 360 owners.

    While the console's gradual disappearance from store shelves does not prevent gamers making their purchases online - indeed, it is our understanding that Amazon now handles a substantial proportion of Japanese Xbox 360 software sales - it does complicate things for Microsoft.

    With an Xbox 360 successor widely accepted to be released in 2014, the firm may struggle to convince Japanese retailers to stock and prominently display the console when they have a decade's worth of proof that higher returns are available elsewhere.

    Microsoft clearly still holds the Japanese market in high regard - just last month it appointed Takashi Sensui as head of the newly formed Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB), leaving him to focus almost exclusively on Xbox 360. While reports at the time implied a lighter load for Sensui - his previous remit also covered Windows and Office software - perhaps the reshuffle was in recognition of the onerous task he faces to revive the console's ailing fortunes.[/p][​IMG] Source

    Obviously it's a known fact Microsoft does poorly compared to Sony, Nintendo and even mobile phone games in Japan
    It makes you think how Microsoft is going to do next gen and how they will (try) to win Japan.

    Slap some moeblob jRPGs on that shit.
    Edit: Also if mods wanna move this to general consoles discussion, it's cool with me.
  2. Nah3DS

    Nah3DS Madre de Dios! Es El POLLO DIABLO!!!

    Feb 9, 2010
    the question is: does Microsoft need Japan?
  3. ojsinnerz.

    ojsinnerz. Damned

    Oct 27, 2007
    Great. Maybe now, we can get some shmups on the PS3, and not just the goddamn 360. (Why did you do that CAVE, why?)
  4. _Chaz_

    _Chaz_ GBAtemp's Official Mook™

    Sep 12, 2009
    United States
    Japanese gamers generally aren't huge fans of FPS, which is more than 80% of the 360's library.
  5. FrozenIndignation

    FrozenIndignation Tyrant R. of ye olde Prinny Squad

    GBAtemp Patron
    FrozenIndignation is a Patron of GBAtemp and is helping us stay independent!

    Our Patreon
    Nov 10, 2010
    Wherever Yakity sax plays
    Ah, this would be a perfect time for me to stock up on xbox360 games [​IMG]

    But overall this is outcome was, and has been, obvious. Microsoft has a more western orientation to its products, but also because sony is much more trusted there.
  6. tigris

    tigris Sentient Existential Anthropomorphic Sweet Potato

    Jun 19, 2010
    The Tibetan Himalayas
    Western world=/= not always gelling with Japan.
    Proof= Pon pon way way way pon pon... etc.

    Microsoft have never been known to work well with Japan, anyway. [​IMG]
  7. Oveneise

    Oveneise GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Nov 22, 2010
    United States
    The western consoles never fare as well in Japan. Just look at the original Xbox.
  8. emigre

    emigre Oh Jeremy Corbyn

    Jan 28, 2009
    United States
    Damn Japanese consumer xenophobia!
  9. omgpwn666

    omgpwn666 Guy gamer and proud!

    Jun 14, 2008
    United States
    I would never move to Japan! [​IMG]
  10. tigris

    tigris Sentient Existential Anthropomorphic Sweet Potato

    Jun 19, 2010
    The Tibetan Himalayas
    Hmm. Your avatar does suggest that, so I believe you. [​IMG]
  11. omgpwn666

    omgpwn666 Guy gamer and proud!

    Jun 14, 2008
    United States
    LOL! True, I like Japan, but I need my Xbox.
  12. godreborn

    godreborn GBAtemp Psycho!

    Oct 10, 2009
    United States
    the playstation 3 isn't doing so well in Japan either. the number of sold systems in both America and Europe easily crush those in Japan. cellphone games r becoming much more popular than all home consoles.
  13. Snailface

    Snailface My frothing demand for 3ds homebrew is increasing

    Sep 20, 2010
    Engine Room with Cyan, watching him learn.
    It was DOA, pardon the pun.

    Didn't Msoft call the Xbox360 Project Midway at one time? Yeah, that was good PR. The Japanese love being reminded about WWII. [​IMG]
  14. machomuu

    machomuu Drops by occasionally

    Sep 4, 2009
    United States
    The Courtroom
    I guess Monster Hunter Frontier was more popular on the PC.
  15. koimayeul

    koimayeul GBAtemp Maniac

    Dec 2, 2009
    how is it news its dead ever since the first x-box over there [​IMG]
  16. GameWinner

    GameWinner Take your heart

    Jun 14, 2009
    United States
    I thought the Xbox was already dead in Japan, I can see why too. With all the FPS games and whatnot.
  17. shakirmoledina

    shakirmoledina Legend

    Oct 23, 2004
    Dar es Salaam
    it was selling before bcz it was not the era of ps3. since last year, ps3 has been selling like pancakes even here where most ppl dont know soft modding or games are too expensive (at $60 old games)

    now i can say tht since ps3 is selling well (and ps3 + japan = profit) xbx is unrequired for satisfying gamers' needs

    everyone above from the first point have made it clear that xbx is not a jpn fav
  18. Gahars

    Gahars Bakayaro Banzai

    Aug 5, 2011
    United States
    New Jersey
    This isn't a huge shock, really. Microsoft has never really done well in Japan, and the 360 has, as the article mentioned, been faltering in the region for a long while.

    This is less shocking, and more just the inevitable final outcome.
  19. DarkStriker

    DarkStriker GBAtemp's Kpop lover!

    Mar 15, 2009
    Out with xbox360! in with the PS3! Now get ur arse away from FPS games and start translating those cool awesome JRPG games i always wanted.
  20. FireEmblemGuy

    FireEmblemGuy Celebrating a decade of shitposting

    Jul 6, 2007
    United States
    Michigan, USA
    with one store selling the Halo: Reach hardware bundle for ¥9,980 (£79.30).
    Wait, seriously?
    ...How hard is it to mod a 360 to be region free?