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Thursday, December 08, 2005

OUTLOOK - Japan a tough market for Microsoft's Xbox 360 to penetrate

OUTLOOK - Japan a tough market for Microsoft's Xbox 360 to penetrate

"Despite the strong debut of its Xbox 360 in the US, Microsoft Corp is likely to struggle to displace well-entrenched incumbents in the Japanese video-game console market when it launches the Xbox 360 here at the weekend, analysts said.

Microsoft will start selling the Xbox 360 here on Saturday at 37,900 yen.

The game unit of Sony Corp plans to launch its own next-generation machine, PlayStation 3, next spring.
Since the Xbox 360 went on sale in the US on Nov 22, Microsoft has said it is on track to meet its 90-day target of selling 2.75-3.00 mln worldwide.

Despite its good initial sales, Microsoft faces a lawsuit in the US alleging that the Xbox 360 has a design flaw that causes it to overheat and freeze up. The suit further alleges that Microsoft was so intent on releasing the Xbox 360 before Sony Computer and Nintendo Co could launch competing machines that it sold a 'defectively designed' product.

Microsoft is hoping that being first in the market with next-generation consoles will help it penetrate the home market of Sony and Nintendo.
'Japan is a very important market for our global strategy, and launching our console ahead of rival platforms will give us a certain advantage,' said Yoshihiro Maruyama, head of the Xbox division at Microsoft KK, the Japanese unit of Microsoft." [more]

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