Why Xbox Failed In Japan

  • Published: 08 October 2019
  • Microsoft's Xbox consoles have become a global hit. But there's one market where they don't work — Japan. Of the 46.9 million Xbox Ones sold worldwide through the second quarter of 2019, just 0.3% of them have been in Japan, according to IDC. Meanwhile, Japanese companies Sony and Nintendo are popular with consumers.

    When Microsoft announced it was developing a video game console, the industry was skeptical. In the ’90s, Microsoft was known for its software, not its hardware business.

    Almost two decades later, Microsoft’s Xbox has become a popular console, holding its own against Sony and Nintendo.

    But there’s one market where the Xbox hasn’t been a hit with consumers — Japan.

    When Microsoft released the Xbox in 2001 in the United States, Japan was the gaming juggernaut of the world. It was home to the three big console makers, Nintendo, Sega and Sony, and had the best developers.

    Microsoft faced three big challenges launching the Xbox in Japan. It had to convince Japanese developers to make games for Xbox, overcome consumers’ skepticism about the first edition’s bulky design, and make up for lost sales from launching after the holiday period.

    Today, Microsoft still struggles to sell consoles in Japan. Of the 46.9 million Xbox Ones sold worldwide through the second quarter of 2019, just 0.3% of them have been in Japan, according to the International Data Corporation.

    While Japan is a big market for video games, Dean Takahashi, the lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat, said Microsoft doesn’t rely on Japanese consumers.

    “Japan is still down, but they don’t actually need it to make billions of dollars,” Takahashi said.

    In a statement to CNBC, Microsoft said Japan is an important part of its global gaming community.

    “We’re committed to bringing innovative and homegrown content from Japan’s leading game creators to a global audience,” said Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s executive vice president of gaming, in a statement.

    While Japanese consumers prefer Sony’s PlayStation or Nintendo’s Switch, Microsoft’s relationship with its Japanese competitors is changing. Watch this video to learn more about how Microsoft is working with Sony on the future of video gaming.

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    Why The Xbox Failed In Japan

Comments • 2 236

  • cgasucks
    cgasucks  47 less than a minute back

    I don't blame them. For me for some reason, I'm more inclined to play North American developed games rather than Japanese developed games since the Asian games are a little on the weird side, especially Playstation games.

    • Chicagun
      Chicagun  2 minutes back

      Yknow you could've just titled it "Why Xbox Failed". The video would've still applied.

      • Hunter Aroksaar
        Hunter Aroksaar  4 minutes back

        Microsoft:we are ready to release consoles in japan
        Sega Nintendo and sony:we’re gonna stop you right there chief

        • HECTOR is HOT
          HECTOR is HOT  14 minutes back

          My big brother bought a ps2 when it came out he handed it down to me. Every since any other controller in my hands feels weird.

          • Modern warfare Fanboy
            Modern warfare Fanboy  25 minutes back

            Because Japan knows good content look how we got the switch and PS4 same for wii GameCube PS3 and ps2 I admit the original Xbox and 360 I loved so they missed out there but the one yeah they didn’t miss out on much honestly I’m just sad I didn’t get a PS4 sooner but
            Better late then never I guess much love to Japan

            • Scoobyslap
              Scoobyslap  36 minutes back

              Lol no wonder anime shows only use PlayStation

              • Sonshine
                Sonshine  37 minutes back

                Aside from the obvious that it's American, it's also aimed for a different demographic. Just look at most of the games it has and there's your answer. It's closer to a PC than a console and the games are moslty all fps shooters.

                • Bryan Tadeo
                  Bryan Tadeo  54 minutes back

                  american likes shooting videosgames... thats why theres a lot of shooting there

                  • Arouxayis
                    Arouxayis  2 hours back

                    Microsoft: Check out our new gaming system, Japan!
                    Japanese people: What does it do that's different from our Playstations?
                    Microsoft: Um.. well nothing really.. it has Halo? Do you guys like shooters? no.. well ok I'll see myself out..

                    • Nyuks【琉球魂】
                      Nyuks【琉球魂】  2 hours back

                      #1 reason: it only has BORING GAMES

                      • rafael pozo
                        rafael pozo  2 hours back

                        Microsoft: well, we still have windows 🤷‍♂️

                        • rafael pozo
                          rafael pozo  2 hours back

                          Its simple, Because isn't japanese 🤷‍♂️
                          They dropped the A-bomb after all

                          • Thandolwakhe Zungu
                            Thandolwakhe Zungu  3 hours back

                            Most South Africans prefer PS4 but its way more expensive then X BOX here for some odd reason ..so ppl buy the x box

                            • Jerry Yawning
                              Jerry Yawning  3 hours back

                              11:20 ---> the fox that can't get to the grapes. Pathetic as usual.

                              • leoreclol
                                leoreclol  3 hours back

                                Well Xbox is not really big in Europe

                                • Phoenix MH83
                                  Phoenix MH83  4 hours back

                                  "The release of Xbox One in 2013 was a huge success" who tf lied to you? No...it wasn't lol

                                  • Phoenix MH83
                                    Phoenix MH83  4 hours back

                                    Xbox failed period after 360

                                    • YS Entertainment
                                      YS Entertainment  4 hours back

                                      Playstation is the king. Hail Sony!

                                      • Memet Sap
                                        Memet Sap  4 hours back

                                        Yeni gelecek Xbox Scarlett’te büyük beklenti içine girdiğimiz muhakkak özellikleri …insanlaştırılmış animasyonlar...real life gamaplay...gerçek obje nesne ve kaplamalar....hava ve doğa atmosferini gerçek hayat ortamı ve görüntüsüyle tamamen gameplaye aktarma....hava koşulları çamur toz kar yağmur pas kir leke dolu vs tamamen gerçek hayatla aynı gerçekçilikte olması.....karakterler insanla ayırt edilemeyecek kadar gerçekçi ve plastikten olmaması lazım çizgi film görüntüsü tarihe gömülmeli ...konsolun gücü en az 20 teraflop ve ultra hızlı fps gücü ile herhangi oyunu takarsan tak kasmadan oynayabilmek...bu özellikler pro modellere saklanmamalı ve artık devrim diye nitelendirdiğimiz arzuladığımız REAL LİFE GAMAPLAY’e kavuşmak için değecek bir beklentiye girmemiz en doğru karar...umarız Sony ve Microsoft bu verdiğim önemli donanımsal özellikleri yapar ve GERÇEK KONSOL’a kavuşturur..aksi taktirde yine oyun görüntüsü ile oynamak çizgi film karakterleri yönetmek çok saçma olacaktır..cilalanmış konsol değil gerçeği yönetmek için ....COMİNG 2020

                                        • JRT
                                          JRT  4 hours back

                                          Who's the Japanese woman in the thumbnail?😛😍🔥💘💞

                                          • TheGamingPolitician
                                            TheGamingPolitician  5 hours back

                                            Whomst is that beautiful thing?

                                            • Shuajo
                                              Shuajo  5 hours back

                                              It isn't the mere fact that the Xbox is American, that's ridiculous; the iPhone is popular in Japan, among many American chains of restaurants and soft drinks, and other American products as well.

                                              It's something intrinsic to the Xbox brand itself... As the video said, its bulky design. And as another commenter said, trying too hard to persuade Japanese developers to make games for the platform and thus scaring them away. That, and focusing on the developers and not the consumers themselves, as also stated at the end of the video.

                                              • pandemic7
                                                pandemic7  5 hours back

                                                The Japanese are very xenophobic. That is why.

                                                • 2cool0
                                                  2cool0  5 hours back

                                                  the original xbox was ballin but the 260 and the one are lame. it doesn't do anything better than the playstation and they have zero good exclusives. They just have the same games over and over again (halo and gears). Why would anyone buy it? People can just build a pc and get the same exact games and better graphics and not to mention a full pc with windows.

                                                  • adkinsy85
                                                    adkinsy85  5 hours back

                                                    Cuz PlayStation baby

                                                    • Axel Rios
                                                      Axel Rios  5 hours back

                                                      Because Xbox is trash

                                                      • Taha Yaagoubi
                                                        Taha Yaagoubi  5 hours back

                                                        They made games all about shooters and lame crap. PS had a bigger variety. What sells are the games not the console

                                                        • That Guy
                                                          That Guy  6 hours back

                                                          Because Japanese don't buy American products, but expect us to buy their products, sounds fair😒. But that's capitalism for ya! Also country brand loyalty!

                                                          • Kamar
                                                            Kamar  6 hours back

                                                            To hell with Japan then

                                                            • len got
                                                              len got  6 hours back

                                                              cuz it sucks lol

                                                              • Senior Ricketts
                                                                Senior Ricketts  6 hours back

                                                                Why is xbox still alive today ?
                                                                Only reason

                                                                • J M
                                                                  J M  6 hours back

                                                                  $60 for 12 months xbox live. A lot of the free games on live are just trials anymore. 65000 gamerscore but im ready for a brand new console. I think i may defect back to Sony for their next console.

                                                                  • Sai Krishna
                                                                    Sai Krishna  7 hours back

                                                                    *Is that a D**k?*

                                                                    • Otha Bojangles
                                                                      Otha Bojangles  7 hours back

                                                                      Japan is really suspicious of outsiders. It's really sad because it's a dying country

                                                                      • Jood Zameer Hassan
                                                                        Jood Zameer Hassan  7 hours back

                                                                        Xbox a hit in "eVeRyWhErE" in the world😂

                                                                        • Sai Bea5t
                                                                          Sai Bea5t  7 hours back


                                                                          microsoft = made in usa
                                                                          sony = made in japan

                                                                          • Cameron
                                                                            Cameron  8 hours back

                                                                            If only Microsoft engineered 360 in a way where it wouldn't overheat and cause Red Ring of Death. I'm not an Xbox consumer anymore after that generation.

                                                                            • Hersh Shorsh
                                                                              Hersh Shorsh  8 hours back

                                                                              If you think it's because the company is not Japanese, explain why they are obsessed with The Iphone.

                                                                              • It Me
                                                                                It Me  8 hours back

                                                                                The only reason I still keep my Xbox is because of Halo

                                                                                • Hindu Nationalist
                                                                                  Hindu Nationalist  8 hours back

                                                                                  Why Islam failed in USA?

                                                                                  • Jik Feraren
                                                                                    Jik Feraren  8 hours back

                                                                                    Japan still remembers US droping
                                                                                    Bombs at them

                                                                                    • Adam Morrell
                                                                                      Adam Morrell  8 hours back

                                                                                      Why do we need xbox when we have Nintendo and playstation??
                                                                                      DRM attempted 2013 with xbox starting the pay to play online nonsence 💩💩

                                                                                      • Mason Opick
                                                                                        Mason Opick  8 hours back

                                                                                        AND THATS WHY IM PC MASTER RACE💪

                                                                                        • Del
                                                                                          Del  9 hours back

                                                                                          Not a console gamer. Prefer the PC still.

                                                                                          • Volkan Yuksel
                                                                                            Volkan Yuksel  9 hours back

                                                                                            Paradigm shift...

                                                                                            • Like A Sambu D
                                                                                              Like A Sambu D  9 hours back

                                                                                              Lol does this really need a video? Because Playstation and Japan pioneered the video game industry also with a sprinkle of beautiful unity and patriotism.

                                                                                              • King Ozymandias
                                                                                                King Ozymandias  9 hours back

                                                                                                Ever heard of India?

                                                                                                • Shane Narayan
                                                                                                  Shane Narayan  9 hours back

                                                                                                  Owned both, various generations. Can without a doubt say sony is more reliable/durable. The xbox, especially the controllers feel like a product designed to fail. Just so invest in replacing a controller $60 a pop, that's almost 40% of the total cost of the system. Never once had to replace a sony controller. Just the rubber on the joystick wares faster than tires on my car