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XBox 360 Off to Slow Start in Japan

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If you are having trouble getting your hands on an XBox 360 this holiday season you may be in luck – if you are planning on visiting Japan.

According to Gamespot, there are still plenty of unsold consoles just sitting on store shelves.

Gamespot writes: “after hardcore gamers made their purchases, many 360 units remained unsold. For example, the Akihabara branch of Yodobashi Camera promoted the Xbox 360 heavily. It established a dedicated area and cash register for the machine, where many customers stopped to check out a trailer of the 360’s forthcoming adventure game Ninety-Nine Nights. However, most visitors walked away without buying a 360. On Sunday evening, one of the busiest shopping times in the weekend, over two dozen Xbox 360s were stacked up behind the 360 cash register and several idle, bored-looking sales assistants.”

So, how is it that Microsoft has not managed to improve it’s image in Japan despite a massive advertising push and a very generous price point of around 38,800 yen ($322)? My guess is that it is a combination of factors – namely Japanese loyalty to local brands like Sony and Nintendo combined with Microsoft’s aparent inability to view the gaming world from a foreign perspective.

Take a look at the launch titles for example – what on that list would have broad appeal in the Japanese market? It is a well known fact that the Japanese prefer RPG style games over the FPS – and they are not easily lured in by the promise of better hardware. The Japanese are about the games – first and foremost. Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that the reception has been cold thus far. Fortunately, Microsoft has around year to correct these problems before Sony and Nintendo begin rolling out their consoles.

Posted by Sean

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