Sunday, September 20

Xbox 360 Japan exclusives: Less than 1million sold combined

From its debut in Japan, Microsoft has stretched her muscles, taking risk, spending serious cash, buying "timed exclusives" all in an effort to make the Xbox 360 ubiquitous in the land of the rising sun. Question is, has the strategy worked out? Earlier this year, the software giant reported that it finally past the 1million mark of consoles sold in Japan, a goal they thought would be achieved a year earlier. The Japanese have reacted very lukewarm to the Xbox 360; and that's to say the least. Numbers don't lie, so, we've compiled a list of the top 4 "exclusive" Xbox 360 games and sales data in Japan. Life-to-date sales are as follows:

1. Star Ocean 4 (life-to-date: 208,521)

2. Blue Dragon (life-to-date: 203,740)

3. Tales of Vesperia (life-to-date: 194,714)

4. Last Remnant (life-to-date: 154,493)

Total life-to-date sales combined: 761,468. You may know that Tales of Vesperia recently launched on the PS3, selling over 140,000 copies on the first day. Star Ocean is also coming to the Sony's console, and so is the Last Remnant. Obviously Microsoft has invested heavily in timed exclusives, however, it seems that strategy has failed, (at least in Japan). Little good resulted from the investment, and what's even more glaring is the success those games are expected to have on the PS3. On top of all that, the PS3 versions will add new features. Some with new characters, new maps, upscaled graphics and even refined gameplay.

Gamers have argued saying, Microsoft should give up on the Orient, and use that same money building first party studios to help bolster their exclusive lineup in America. I disagree. Although the Xbox 360 is not performing as desired, giving up on Japan would look too bad; an image of perseverance and stability must be portrayed by Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, and any other company, who, wish to keep their customers happy and confident. Sometimes even at a loss. There's no doubt the Redmond company needs to invest in building first party studios, but it should not come at the cost of one of the mainstays in the console war. No matter how much its market share has shrunk.

[UPDATE] Even after adding Lost Odyssey at users request, the total only amounts to 865,885 combined sales. Lost Odyssey sold 40,000 copies on its first day at retail in Japan and lifetime sales of 104,417.

09/21/09 Ernice Gilbert


  1. Now that is quite sad.

    Why Japanese developers even give MS their exclusives is beyond me. Sure, MS may be writing them a big, fat cheque but in the long run they stand to gain more profit and reputation if their games sold better. At least Square-Enix realised this and kept FF XIII PS3 exclusive in Japan as it would have simply been squashed like a bug in sales compared to the PS3 version.

  2. You're right Dew, developers may say one thing, but when they're offered millions in cash for a "timed exclusive" their reasoning blur.

    However, with that said, it's good to see that Square-Enix kept FFXIII exclusive to the PS3 in Japan, at least for now.