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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

No Love for XBox 360 in Japan

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No Love for XBox 360 in Japan

"Recent poll shows low interest in Microsoft's console.

Elsewhere we can write in agonizing detail about the extreme conservatism in Japanese gamers' tastes and how the Japanese games market is in dire need of resuscitation, but for now I would like to point out that a poll conducted by a Japanese news service among 1,000 gamers found that only two percent of respondents picked the Xbox 360 as their most-wanted Next Gen console. The leader, by an order of magnitide, was PS3, with a fan base of sixty percent.

It's not such a big surprise that Japanese gamers are not psyched about the Xbox 360, even after its redesigned prettification and despite some high-profile defections (Itagaki, Mizuguchi, and Sakaguchi just to name a few). Japanese consumers never really got into the Xbox: about 460,000 units have sold in Japan since launch. To put that number in perspective, think about this: the PS2 sold twice the first two days.

The reason Japanese gamers find the PS3 more appealing is partly the massive brand recognition Sony has, of course; but it's also probably got a lot to do with the sheer numbers of sequels, franchises, and re-makes that Sony has at its power to command. Read the survey data: eighty percent want well-known franchises; 71.2 want RPGs. You're looking at another long string of repetitive Square Enix titles, my friend. As much as we might complain about lack of innovative game titles in the West, Japan has it even worse. Some of the quirkiest, most fascinating games ever made come from Japanese game studios, but they wither under the unending domination of Dragon Quest. A new console launch is not going to change that trend any time soon. Too bad."

Related Links: - Survey suggests tough times ahead for Xbox 360 in Japan

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