Microsoft Struggles to Adapt Xbox One to Japan

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Microsoft Struggles to Adapt Xbox One to Japan

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Microsoft has dubbed Japan a "Tier 2" country as it won't see the Xbox One until 2014 at the earliest.

Yasuyuki Higuchi, president of Microsoft Japan, was grilled about the company's plans for the region in a press briefing earlier this week. He explained that Japan is a "Tier 2" country and will therefore get the Xbox One later than "Tier 1" regions such as the US and Europe. The key reasoning behind this delay is that the company is having trouble trying to adapt the Xbox One, which is very clearly designed for a western lifestyle, to Japanese markets.

When pressed, Higuchi stated that the console would not see release in Japan in 2013, "but it will not be delayed very much behind the US," suggesting an early 2014 release.

Microsoft's entire spiel with the Xbox One was having a console designed around "the living room," being a central device that you can play games on, and much more importantly, watch TV and sports. The problem with this in Japan is that the entire concept of "the living room" is a much less important idea for Japanese families. Many people in Japan live at home until marriage, and spiraling wedlock rates mean that many do not get a living room of their own until they are much older.

Furthermore, the majority of Xbox 360 gamers in Japan were really hardcore gamers, and they are more likely to have their console in their bedroom than the living room anyway.

"More than that, in Japan it is the case that gamers are stepping away from their consoles and using tablets and smartphones to play games instead," said Higuchi. "It will be difficult to expand the volume of consoles in the living room."

Despite this doom and gloom, Microsoft has actually been confirmed to appear at this year's Tokyo Game Show, despite sitting out 2012's event.

Haruaki Kayama, head of Microsoft Japan's Consumer & Partner Group, asked reporters to please not "write too negatively" about this press briefing, so i'll end my report with a happy face :)

Source: 4gamer (Japanese) via Edge Online

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So basically, they really only planned on targeting one market? North America. Everyone else is an after thought. Anyone surprised by that?

All those reasons sound a lot less important compared to the fact that weekly sales of the 360 in Japan are down to the hundreds. And not even high hundreds, like only selling 350 consoles over the span of a week sort of thing. (In comparison to numbers in the 15,000 range weekly for the PS3). I'm pretty sure the PS2 has consistently outsold the 360 in Japan throughout the 360's entire lifespan.

That seems a little more obvious a reason than 'people aren't really buying consoles in Japan' (and you don't need a big living room to play on a 360 either)

Vivi22:
So basically, they really only planned on targeting one market? North America? Anyone surprised by that?

The sad thing is, the 360 basically only outsold it's competitors in North America and the UK, and it's still within an inch of the PS3 which outsold the 360 in pretty much every other country. North America is such a huge market, it can practically sustain a console all by itself (well it basically does)

I figured this would be the case in at least some areas, I mean the original kinect required a pretty large space to function, I wonder how many people will get the Xbox One just to find out that they don't have the required space?

Considering they weren't planning on launching the console there immediately, this isn't a huge shock. Chances are they don't give that much of a shit about the Japanese.

Caiphus:
Considering they weren't planning on launching the console there immediately, this isn't a huge shock. Chances are they don't give that much of a shit about the Japanese.

Japan's a big market. I'm always surprised by just how many people live in Japan (it's only half the population of the US). The PS3 has sold nearly 9 million consoles there which is 12% of the total 360 sales worldwide. I just don't believe Microsoft think they've got a chance (in comparison the 360 hasn't even got to 1.7 million)

Please don't tell me that image in the OP is of a Japanese Xbone Ad

BrotherRool:

Caiphus:
Considering they weren't planning on launching the console there immediately, this isn't a huge shock. Chances are they don't give that much of a shit about the Japanese.

Japan's a big market. I'm always surprised by just how many people live in Japan (it's only half the population of the US). The PS3 has sold nearly 9 million consoles there which is 12% of the total 360 sales worldwide. I just don't believe Microsoft think they've got a chance (in comparison the 360 hasn't even got to 1.7 million)

Absolutely. A cursory look at vgchartz shows just how little Japan cared about the 360. Whether that's due to poor marketing on Microsoft's part, patriotism on Japan's part, or both. It's not clear if Microsoft has given up on that market, although making them "Tier 2" certainly seems to suggest that they have.

Looking at this article, they're still having a delayed launch, and even the president of Microsoft Japan doesn't know what to do (not that it's necessarily his fault, he has to market the bloody thing to a country that barely seemed to give a toss about his previous, superior product.)

Vivi22:
So basically, they really only planned on targeting one market? North America. Everyone else is an after thought. Anyone surprised by that?

Not at all. Microsoft had already screwed up their relations with the Japanese market well before the 360 was released there. Ever since, it's been Microsoft crying and sobbing at the door, wanting even just an inch inside the Japanese market there.

Fact is, though, they'll never get in. Even going as far as nabbing Monster Hunter (a major, maaajor, IP there) didn't do jack squat for the install base. So they might as well just give up now on trying with them. The way they market themselves, the way they marketed the system, and the design of the system itself, all runs contradictory to what Japan is used to, wants, and will bother with. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if Microsoft ripped the Kinect-2 right off the Xbox One simply because it might help with that side of the market...

Not to mention happy, definitely happy.

Oh weell even though Im not a member of the press and he asked so kindly i'll refrain from telling them to go fuck themselves.

...

I dont know, taking a minute to think about it, isnt japan (at least thought ot be) like the second biggest gaming market, and thats why it either gets stuff before, at the same as, or right after the US/north america? I mean there's obvious exceptions and some things in japan dont transfer well, but this just seems dumb on microsofts part. and kinda validates the claims of "youre doing too much with a machine that cant really even do what youre proposing or making it to sound."

Reading the comments in this thread I get the impression not many people actually read the article.
Anyway OT: Make's sense to me, Japan's a very unique market and microsoft doesn't really have much competitive muscle in that regard.

Don't really like the idea of Microsoft asking journalists not to be negative as they report this news...

Okay. On one hand, this is a valid decision. Microsoft never sold well in Japan.

On the other hand, this is stupid. Relegating the entire country to a second tier release practically guarantees that there will be very little market for your console. Even those who may have considered it before, will likely just get a PS4 or a Wii U, if they hadn't already picked up a Wii U.

Yes, the Japanese market was never very good for Xbox, but that's largely due to Microsoft not really courting the market. There were very few games they had that appealed to the market. Doing this only makes that worse.

Guess we shouldn't be surprised. They really only care about North America.
Guess Poland is also a Tier Two country.

Here's an idea, MS: DROP THE FUCKING MANDATORY KINECT!

I don't know if that'll actually make it easier to integrate into the Japanese culture, but it'd sure as hell make your console a lot more appealing to pretty much everyone else if you ditched the fucking spy-cam. AND it'd lower the cost $100! That's doing TWO things to make your console infinitely more appealing and all you have to do is admit that the Kinect was a failed product and a stupid idea to make it mandatory for your new console!

Furioso:
I figured this would be the case in at least some areas, I mean the original kinect required a pretty large space to function, I wonder how many people will get the Xbox One just to find out that they don't have the required space?

That is one of the reasons I'm not gonna get a Xbox one is because I don't have a large area that I play my consoles in so if the kinect needs a large (heck even a medium) sized area i wont be able to use. Then there's also the whole it watches me thing as well.

Caiphus:
Considering they weren't planning on launching the console there immediately, this isn't a huge shock. Chances are they don't give that much of a shit about the Japanese.

See, they could've just been marketing geniuses and waited to announce the Xbone on July 4th with a rallying cry of "MERICA!!!!"

Reading this article, I couldn't help but see myself in the description of how Japanese gamers...uh...game...and live I suppose. Anyway, what everyone else said: Japan has always, always had trouble selling the Xbox to the point that Microsoft never really seemed interested in pushing very hard in the eastern market.

RJ 17:
Here's an idea, MS: DROP THE FUCKING MANDATORY KINECT!

I don't know if that'll actually make it easier to integrate into the Japanese culture, but it'd sure as hell make your console a lot more appealing to pretty much everyone else if you ditched the fucking spy-cam. AND it'd lower the cost $100! That's doing TWO things to make your console infinitely more appealing and all you have to do is admit that the Kinect was a failed product and a stupid idea to make it mandatory for your new console!

It probably would, to be honest. Privacy in Japan is a VERY big deal. TV shows literally have to blur every person's face if they don't specifically get permission from them - even in big shots of lots of people walking around in a city for instance.

I have a feeling that the "spy-cam" is going to be a big problem because of this

Vivi22:
So basically, they really only planned on targeting one market? North America. Everyone else is an after thought. Anyone surprised by that?

No they planned the top 20 Xbox Markets, Japan is not in the top 20 of the previous console.

Japan not only has a spiralling Wedlock rate, it also has a problem with endemic levels of Nighthawks, a rising wave of The Hitcher, an emerging Ladyhawke glut, and its Blind Fury readings are off the charts...

X-Box marketing in Japan...

*Laughs at such trite behavior*

Yes, they'll totally want your more-expensive knock-off in the country where they MAKE the consoles from Nintendo and Sony.

That won't bomb! NAW!!

the xbox project has bombed in Japan since its inception
seriously, just go look up the sales numbers...

Steven Bogos:
It probably would, to be honest. Privacy in Japan is a VERY big deal. TV shows literally have to blur every person's face if they don't specifically get permission from them - even in big shots of lots of people walking around in a city for instance.

The same is true in the US and Europe. But it isn't done for privacy reasons; it's done for legal liability reasons.

RJ 17:
Here's an idea, MS: DROP THE FUCKING MANDATORY KINECT!

I suppose you wanted Nintendo to drop the Wii-mote as well...? Because that's essentially what you're demanding Microsoft to do.

Steven Bogos:

RJ 17:
Here's an idea, MS: DROP THE FUCKING MANDATORY KINECT!

I don't know if that'll actually make it easier to integrate into the Japanese culture, but it'd sure as hell make your console a lot more appealing to pretty much everyone else if you ditched the fucking spy-cam. AND it'd lower the cost $100! That's doing TWO things to make your console infinitely more appealing and all you have to do is admit that the Kinect was a failed product and a stupid idea to make it mandatory for your new console!

It probably would, to be honest. Privacy in Japan is a VERY big deal. TV shows literally have to blur every person's face if they don't specifically get permission from them - even in big shots of lots of people walking around in a city for instance.

I have a feeling that the "spy-cam" is going to be a big problem because of this

I have a feeling that when the Japanese version comes out, it's going to be without the Kinect. You know, the same way they dropped the 'mandatory' DRM when the Western audience raised such a massive stink.

Yes, I'll be bragging about it when it happens.

Vivi22:
So basically, they really only planned on targeting one market? North America. Everyone else is an after thought. Anyone surprised by that?

Given the Kinect integration and the initial online-server-centric deal with games, I am 0% surprised.

For the last 2 months I've been deeply researching ancient/feudal/modern Japanese history and culture for a novel that I want to write.

I've learned enough to recognize that an official comment like this:

Steven Bogos:

Haruaki Kayama, head of Microsoft Japan's Consumer & Partner Group, asked reporters to please not "write too negatively" about this press briefing, so i'll end my report with a happy face :)

Is precisely the sort of "apology"--and make no mistake that from the Japanese perspective THIS kind of Official Cluster "Fxx" is an apology--represents the kind of Cluster "f--" that humiliates native corporate representatives in Japan who have to deal with M$%'s BS.

I feel sad for the Japanese M$'s humiliation at the hand of their American Evil Overlords business partners.

...and zero fucks were given by the Japanese consumer base, because nothing of value was lost.

UnnDunn:

RJ 17:
Here's an idea, MS: DROP THE FUCKING MANDATORY KINECT!

I suppose you wanted Nintendo to drop the Wii-mote as well...? Because that's essentially what you're demanding Microsoft to do.

Are you seriously comparing the Wiimote to the Kinect 2.0? Last time I checked, the Wiimote was never accused of potentially spying on people (whether to sell information for advertisements or even for government conspiracy theories), nor is it the forced implementation of an idea that already bombed the previous generation.

Anyway, they already dropped the 'mandatory' DRM that they were clinging so tight to. Plus, I doubt that the small number of hardcore players in mentioned in Japan really give a shit about the Kinect.

UnnDunn:

RJ 17:
Here's an idea, MS: DROP THE FUCKING MANDATORY KINECT!

I suppose you wanted Nintendo to drop the Wii-mote as well...? Because that's essentially what you're demanding Microsoft to do.

Well spying and privacy reasons aside, the Wii remote doesn't require as much space as the Kinect does and IMO Nintendo has been more successful with its motion sensor controls than Microsoft has been with the Kinect.

So apparently only t2 country gamers don't have there own living room? Psst Microsoft...that's the entire world, especially in this economy...

Let me make it plain and simple I'm a junior developer I earn just enough to live on my own but it would leave me with pretty much nothing at the end of the month, so I live with my parents, all my gaming stuff is in my room, they don't want to watch me play games in the living room and quite frankly I don't want them to either. Also my room might be the biggest in the house but with my big desk, 2 beds (1 for when one of the nephew stays) leaves me with next to no room anywhere.

If they'd drop the stupid mandatory kinect that would not only knock off around Ģ100 it would make it a lot more appealing to those who like me don't own or rent there own place, you know like probably 60% of your player base.

I never understood why Microsoft launched the first Xbox to begin with. I remember thinking way back then that it made no sense and that they were just either being greedy and wanted a piece of the cake, or just wanted to flex their muscles. I mean, wouldn't it had been better if they had focused on games for the PC, instead of trying to prove they could do the console thing too? Look at how well they're doing now...

UnnDunn:

RJ 17:
Here's an idea, MS: DROP THE FUCKING MANDATORY KINECT!

I suppose you wanted Nintendo to drop the Wii-mote as well...? Because that's essentially what you're demanding Microsoft to do.

Wut.

...

No seriously, wut?

There is a slight difference between the Wii-mote and Kinetic. The Wii-mote is the main controller, the kinetic is an accessory.

You question would make more sense if it was:

MS: DROP THE FUCKING MANDATORY CONTROLLER!
I suppose you wanted Nintendo to drop the Wii-mote as well...?

Then and only then does that question make any logical sense.

Lil_Rimmy:

UnnDunn:

RJ 17:
Here's an idea, MS: DROP THE FUCKING MANDATORY KINECT!

I suppose you wanted Nintendo to drop the Wii-mote as well...? Because that's essentially what you're demanding Microsoft to do.

Wut.

...

No seriously, wut?

There is a slight difference between the Wii-mote and Kinetic. The Wii-mote is the main controller, the kinetic is an accessory.

You question would make more sense if it was:

MS: DROP THE FUCKING MANDATORY CONTROLLER!
I suppose you wanted Nintendo to drop the Wii-mote as well...?

Then and only then does that question make any logical sense.

Microsoft made the kinect the controller to do stuff. They want to be "hip" and "futuristic."

So to operate the xbox, you need the kinect and its voice commands.

If this means that japanese developers will support Nintendo and Sony instead of MS, then i really canīt imagine buying an XboxOne.

Lil_Rimmy:

UnnDunn:

RJ 17:
Here's an idea, MS: DROP THE FUCKING MANDATORY KINECT!

I suppose you wanted Nintendo to drop the Wii-mote as well...? Because that's essentially what you're demanding Microsoft to do.

Wut.

...

No seriously, wut?

There is a slight difference between the Wii-mote and Kinetic. The Wii-mote is the main controller, the kinetic is an accessory.

You question would make more sense if it was:

MS: DROP THE FUCKING MANDATORY CONTROLLER!
I suppose you wanted Nintendo to drop the Wii-mote as well...?

Then and only then does that question make any logical sense.

For Xbox One, Kinect 2.0 is the "main controller". That's the whole point. It isn't an accessory anymore.

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