Tuesday, October 6

Japan: 1 Million Xbox 360s Sold in 4yrs, Should Microsoft Give up?

Some say if you want your games console to succeed in this business then you must have a foothold in Japan; for this very reason Microsoft has spent billions of dollars trying its best to do just that, but our research has shown Microsoft's effort is constantly falling flat. They've been trying for four long, hard, drawn-out years with little to show. Recently we provided data proving how poor the top 5 Xbox 360 "exclusives" in Japan have performed even after throwing millions at developers, combined those games did not break past 900,000 sold. Here's the list:

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)

5. Lost Odyssey (life-to-date: 104,417)

Total life-to-date sales combined: 865,885. What's even worst is most of the aforementioned games will soon be available for the PS3 with Tales of Vesperia already out for Sony's console with that version selling over 140,000 copies in the first day and 217,000 in its first week out, totally outstripping the life-to-date sales of the Xbox 360 version. So it's definitely an uphill battle for the Redmond giant. With some voicing their concerns publicly and gamers being furious about Microsoft's lack of first party studios, the question must be asked: Should Microsoft abandon their efforts in Japan and focus on the western regions like Europe and North America? Or should the software giant keep waging war on Sony and Nintendo's territory? The recent data we found is depressing to say the least, if Microsoft is in this business to make a profit and not just throw money at problems, then maybe they should consider leaving. Apparently, the Japanese are just not into the Xbox 360, let's have a look at some stats.

According to this very reliable source the Xbox 360 has sold (as of March 2009) 1,001,191 consoles in Japan. That's after being available for four years; With the recently redesigned PS3 Slim and Nintendo slashing the price of its flagship console it's extremely hard to see Japan as a good business investment pumping millions, even billions into for Microsoft. All that does is adds more debt to a Console that has cost them over 3 billion in RROD fixes and replacements. It's true some markets won't make a company any money, however they stay to keep a presence in said markets because of reputation and strategic placement. But with the Japanese market down over 18% this year, and big name publishers like Square-Enix looking eastward, it's probably time for Steve Ballmer and his gang to rethink their strategy. Share your thoughts below, should they leave, or stay until they find a foothold.

10/06/09 Ernice Gilbert


  1. I see where you're coming from, however Microsoft must keep fighting for Japan, you can't do a console battle with it.

  2. M$ should really give up and concentrate where they're strongest, NA. It doesn't make sense trying to market a console that people won't like. Worst, some of their "exclusive" games are gonna come out on PS3. Much worst they made better sales and profit.

  3. Quite frankly M$ are comppletely out of thier depth in the JP market, Its OK throwing money around in the western market there are plenty of sheeple to fleece.

    Owned all three consoles and Sony feel more balanced to me, M$ never try to set Trends they just follow and try to milk it for all it has at that time.

    Ninty has just too much shovelware for my liking and just doesn't feel grown up enough for me.

  4. Agree with Marky,I always liked how sony introduced something new with each console. M$ tries to play it safe, and this is the reason they lose. Sony introduced dvd in ps2 and now they introduced blu ray. Both formats became industry standards.

    It is only a matter of time before games come on 4-5 dvds (some do even now, remember lost odyssey). So what is easier, using one blu ray or switching 5 dvds?

    And let's not forget that TDK has developed 320 GB blu ray disc, so I'd say that sony has already secured format for this and next gen console. In next gen, M$ will be forced to introduce something new and not yet proven which could be a very unpopular move since blu ray for next gen console will not show the same weakness as dvd disc had at start of this generation (lack of space). They will hardly incorporate blu ray in next xbox, because that would be admitting that they had inferior technology in present gen console.

    PS4 will beyond doubt come with much lower price since it will be using technology that had become mainstream. And let's not forget one thing. If it wasn't for Ken Kutaragi's arrogance and dissapointing starting price, ps3 would have obliterated x360 to begin with.

    I personally own ps2, ps3 and xbox 360. I used 360 until ps3 slim came. I now believe that 360 will never be turned on again, since it was always here to keep me occupied until cheaper ps3 comes. And that day is now.

  5. well seeing that they managed to buy SE almost with all the exclusives they have been getting, plus FFXIII comming to them.
    than they bought konami and are getting MGS rising, plus kojiama appearing on the natal board.
    wow M$ really must of shelled out for that.
    it seems to me there shelling out all this cash for no effect, if they can afford it keep going.
    but there has to come to a point where they run out of cash to use as toilet paper.

  6. I strongly believe that many studios have accepted cash from M$ because of lower adaption rate of ps3. But it is a strong possibility that since the arrival of cheaper ps3 slim that many exclusives could return to sony, since the risk of low sales is much lesser now.

    MGS: Rising is not MGS5, but a spin-off of MGS series. It will be an action game, and not a tactical espionage action like MGS series are.

    FF XIII is a game that will ship on 3-4 dvds probably and using 1 blu ray is much more practical. Probably will be strong catalyst for ps3 sales.

    M$ is always using the same tactic: if you can't think it, buy it. When did you see a game with beautiful, strong story on M$ console? Sony is a different story: Heavy Rain, The last guardian, uncharted, metal gear 4, and so on...

    The point is that sony is on a roll. The momentum is huge, and they will hardly let it go to waste.

  7. M$ this, M$ that. Is it so hard to say The beancounters from Redmond? Besides, everyone misses the point: people in Japan love games just as we do, but they love rechnology even more. You can sell them innovative Wii-motes and high tech PS3's, both as reliable as their fathers katana's, but you'll have a hardtime selling them a product as faulty as the 360 is.

  8. ive herd some funny comments in the last few weeks about sony dvelopers using their money pots provided by microsoft to fund ps3 development of the same games. microsoft wants a 3 month exculsivity deal...welcome steve ballmer.. to the fight of your life.

  9. MS should give up Japan. One million in four years?! Seriously? It's time to pull out. Unless they get FFXIII in Japan on the 360, they stand no chance against the PS3.


  10. Just find it funny to see 360 exclusives reappear on PS3 with bug-fixes, improved graphics and extra options. Eg. Tales of Vesparia, Ninja Gaiden 2

  11. I think MS should turn to Australia, becuase you won't believe the amount of marketing Sony does here compared to Microsoft.

    For every Xbox 360 ad there's 10 PS3 ad's playing.

  12. Why should they give up? How many games are made specifically for the India market yet you see the PS3 and Xbox 360 there. The thing is Microsoft wants Japanese support and Japanese games to sell in other regions like NA. So it wouldn't make much sense to have them support the game if you couldn't buy the system there. However Microsoft shouldn't be pouring too much money getting exclusives when it doesn't really pay off. What they do need to do is build more internal studios instead so that way they build their own credentials.

  13. what the heck?

    Lost Odyssey didnt sell 40k ''life to day''!

    Famitsu numbers where over 100k, as Media Create. With that said, it should had more sales, awesome game!

  14. uh, Kim where did you see 40,000? Anyways, it's sad to see MS performance is so weak in the Orient, however I think they should stay and duke it out.

    And as the author says, try and gain a foot hold.

  15. wait until natal before deciding anything. kind of weird that they couldnt move a lot of units with those rpg games

  16. Microsoft should stay as a form of strategic placement. Their goal should be securing Japanese support for releases in the West where real money is being made. With most Japanese publishers looking to the West to recoup their losses in their shrinking market, Microsoft's presence creates a link to the Western Market.

  17. yeah, but Sony only got roughly 3 times as much sold PS3 in Japan... not great either.

    MS in Japan has my sympathy, they're the underdog that still makes silly mistakes but they got lion hearts and will keep up the fight against all odds.

  18. @ immediately above: you mean they got giant pockets, if Microsoft did not have so much money they would've exited the console war long time ago;

    The thinks money will do for you.

  19. Haha. I hope Microsoft keeps giong to shit there, piece of shit system, the only thing they have going is Halo, other than that the games are on PS3 now.

  20. for Microsoft .. money is no object.
    if their plan is to be number one console, they will get it..

    maybe not in the current gen consoles, but they are getting it.

  21. I buy american. My country needs it.

  22. To me the only game MS has, that is actually tempting to play is Gears 2, and even that game does not belong to MS, it belongs to EPIC so any time now, unless MS pays a boat load of cash to EPIC, we'll be seeing a Gears on PS3.

  23. What if Sony took away PS3 because sales were bad in NA? Thats the same thing in Japan, Microsoft taking away 360 because of bad sales. The selection of consoles for NA, Europe, and Japan should always be PS3/360/Wii. No more about this topic.

  24. ps3 will do same as the ps2 did back in the days is dominate like they did including the dreamcast and xbox now that ps3 slim is 300 they will win again hands down and have better games than xbox360 will ever do ...

  25. It seems that Asians will not accept an American product. Americans are such chumps when it comes to international trade. We totally open our markets to foreign made products, while it seems the rest of the world, asia in particular, throughs up barriers.

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