Xbox 360: dead in Japan?

Hopefully Mr Takashi Sensui can reverse the slump else there goes my favourite jap games (idolmaster) ...

 

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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.

 

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Discussion Info


Last updated July 4, 2018 Views 2 Applies to:

It doesn't surprise me that PS3 is more popular over there but I never knew it was to the point of stores not carrying it anymore.

Not a surprise. Japan is a complete different culture compared to the US. The 360 sells well in other counties such as the UK and much of Europe because the culture is somewhat similar to us Americans. Or Japan obviously has a bad taste in games and rather worship a console that continues to fail.

It makes perfect since for a country to buy products from their own country.  We have the same thing here, with bumper stickers saying, "Buy American".  My wife's from Japan and she still orders stuff from there all of the time.  Her parents send here a "care package" once a month, with things she can't get here.  If I was in another country, I'd probably do the same thing too. 

[quote user="ChickinOnaChain"]

It makes perfect since for a country to buy products from their own country.  We have the same thing here, with bumper stickers saying, "Buy American".  My wife's from Japan and she still orders stuff from there all of the time.  Her parents send here a "care package" once a month, with things she can't get here.  If I was in another country, I'd probably do the same thing too. 

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It could also be the games line-up?

MS is currently reversing the drop by introducing a Monster Hunter bundle.

well that sucks...

Well the reality, the shops come in first until there ok.

But who moves the store to purchase and the customer, and this client is not happy with what we live in Japan tel.

Even with the support here in Japan which is a waste. Many times I had no answers to my problems.

I live in Japan in seven years. I have Xbox 360 from the first day it was released here.

Japanese has a different taste (Crazy), so to speak, but they appreciate things more here.

Xbox 360 an American unit, which tries to conquer the home of powers such as Nintendo, Sega (Death yet), & Sony. What Microsoft did with exempting farmers here in Japan, for real do not have that even pro client.

marketing in Japan and horrible, the contents of the Live and horrible, so when he saw the Japanese and their Japanese Live Live sees the American, goes mad with rage, Japan has no content, like the U.S., Japan does not have the promotions that Americans have.

Japanese do not like that, or the network to all or Live and then bye bye.

I have more than 100 Japanese friends, everyone is tired of dreaming of a better live at the point of content, DLC, arcade Games, Movies. The films were better in early 2010, before films and videos were a waste.

The Japanese hate it, this and a list below.

1) To launch a game, and this game is asia version but not the Japanese, including their DLCs.

2) prohibited by Net DLCs, such as Call of Duty World at War, here in Japan sells the game, but not the DLCs.

3) Games that should be with the server online, but look for more User response, there is never one.

4) Support in general, oh it within a few who do not like to work.

5) The difference between the offers, promotions or never, only in America that has, Japan has no !!!!!

6) Lack of education of Japanese Americans when they are together in the room, racism heavy, and I can prove it.

But beyond that, Microsoft and politics, to change, instead of her wanting her everything she has to give to get what she wants. No offense, but while Microsoft did not understand how Nintendo & Sony live here, in the example being "we go behind our users, we listened to them" there will be successful here. Here to talk more than died in the Japan game, which here was the house of games, this was not here and yet. The real success of the Xbox 360 out of Japan and FPS, so I just shot Xbox. Between Xbox and Playstation 3, the real advantage to a competitor and mutimidia that the xbox does not have, among other related web access, and an Xbox 360 console to not cross them. Very limited in other areas.

[quote user="An Xbox Dude"]

Not a surprise. Japan is a complete different culture compared to the US. The 360 sells well in other counties such as the UK and much of Europe because the culture is somewhat similar to us Americans. Or Japan obviously has a bad taste in games and rather worship a console that continues to fail.

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I hate to be the one to tell you this, but Japan has pretty much owned the video game business since they became involved in it. While the 360 does very well in North America, Japan still dominates the industry. While the 360 does well in Europe, the last time I checked, PS3 outsells the 360 there (by a much smaller margin than Asia), leaving North America as the only territory where the 360 leads. So if anyone wants to cry that a particular counrty is simply biased towards their "home-made" console, that finger should point to America more than Japan  

 

Japan doesn't have bad taste, they simply don't want all of their games exactly the same as each other, as Americans seem to.

Depends on where/what your looking for.....

You can find cheap dump bins in America too......

Premium titles are at a premium price for a reason....

Asking if the 360 is dead in Japan is just silly.    The answer is yes.

Not because it's japan but, because the market is shifting towards Next gen consoles like the One and PS4.  

Xbox/Microsoft has always had low sales in Japan FYI-----

Just Remember,  Nintendo and Sony are based out of Japan-- It's a different market...

If they could, Nintendo/Sony  would love to dominate the market but,  We enjoy human contact in America....   (weird I know)

GOOD LUCK!!!!

Youre just now getting around to comment on a 3 year old topic?

It's a slow day