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Japanese Retailers Pull Xbox 360 From Shelves

Josh Clark
Japan, Microsoft, News, Xbox 360

Japanese Retailers Pull Xbox 360 From Shelves

It's been apparent for some time now that Microsoft are struggling to crack the Japanese market, with sales falling consistently year on year.  But now some Japanese retailers are refusing to sell the machine at all.  Microsoft's announcement that they had finally hit the '1.5 million units' mark this summer has apparently done little to quell the retailers' fears, and the American corporation now face losing their support altogether.

Microsoft's European boss Chris Lewis told Eurogamer that the company would categorically not be pulling out of the Japanese market:

It's a challenging market. We are up against very strong competition there. All of our competition is strong. We're very respectful of what Sony and Nintendo do and where they've come from and what they bring.

It's difficult to determine exactly why the Xbox is failing to make any real progress in Japan, but the loss of a whole slew of region-specific exclusives to Sony certainly hasn't helped matters, and Nintendo's recent 3DS price-cut has seen it outsell Microsoft's home console just six months after release.

Lewis and co are gearing themselves up for next month's Tokyo Game Show, where they will be reassuring Japanese consumers that Microsoft may be down, but they certainly aren't out.

Japan remains important to us. We're very committed to that market. The development community there is very important. Tokyo Game Show will be a notable element in the year as usual


Add a comment4 comments
sosrandom  Aug. 18, 2011 at 20:17

Most likely they know something we dont.

New xbox coming soon?

JoshuaClark  Aug. 18, 2011 at 20:29

Well they're certainly going to have to do something radical, though I'm not so sure a new console will be it.

Brand loyalty seems to be the source of the problem for Microsoft. With Sony gaining such an enormous following during the first two iterations of the Playstation brand it was always going to be hard for an outsider to compete. I do question other commenters' assumptions that the Playstation sells well because Sony are a Japanese company though. There's no reason Microsoft couldn't cater to a Japanese market just as well as Sony or Nintendo have, at least in my eyes. But I digress.

Lets hope you're right sosrandom, and Microsoft make a stunning announcement at TGS. With all the Vita and Kinect chatter we could do with something unexpected...

aimtiaz  Aug. 19, 2011 at 04:31

It can be due to Xbox Live membership, as you have to shell out amount to play game online, which on other consoles are free, and the exclusive Xbox titles do not appeal to JP market.

socialjeebus  Aug. 19, 2011 at 07:01

I've just come back from Osaka and in Tsutaya (a Japanese dvd/music/video game chain) they dedicated a lot of floor space to the Xbox360 so surprised to see this.


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