Why Xbox Failed In Japan

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  • 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 • 2 987

  • Pete
    Pete  20 minutes back

    is sad to see cause xbox is so much better than playstation

    • Napster2002 . aspx
      Napster2002 . aspx  27 minutes back

      I recently got an Xbox One X, and I like that it has apps along with games. I also ept my old Playstation 2 because it has a huge game library still. I'm thinking of getting a Nintendo Switch eventually because it seems to be branching out and building a great game library.

      • ElDracula89
        ElDracula89  35 minutes back

        because its lol trash

        • Legend of Nibbaheem
          Legend of Nibbaheem  54 minutes back

          Sony is just better

          • †Leonic 458
            †Leonic 458  1 hours back

            Xbox has no anime games until bandai decides to give anime games to xbox- And oh god did i just saw sonic 06...

            • MrDaniel
              MrDaniel  1 hours back

              This is why Playstation 4 will always be better system and graphics than xbox one

              • Feca29ca
                Feca29ca  1 hours back

                So japan buy Japanese. In the USA we don’t care about buying American, if it’s good Americans would buy it, not caring about where it’s made. If North Korea would make a better gaming console, stupid ass American would buy it, and not care.

                • Nero
                  Nero  2 hours back

                  Sony's already in cloud gaming. Vita had the ability to play from your console as long as both were connected to wifi.

                  • Anthony Dale
                    Anthony Dale  2 hours back

                    I’ve never bought a Sony product and I never will. I’ve played on the ps2, ps3, and ps4 plenty of times and I am not a fan. Xbox has a much better UI, and community. Xbox has great integration with the windows 10 platform, and you can already stream your games on any device running windows 10 on the same network as your Xbox. Plus Sony isn’t very secure. They’ve been hacked multiple times. Once in 2010 when over 50 million people were affected, and they were hacked again by North Korea. We just don’t have these issues on Xbox. Plus the one X is a much more powerful machine. And if you’re into true gaming, and play on a powerful PC, you’re buying US made hardware (Nvidia, AMD, Intel) and US made software (Windows) no matter where you live in the world.

                    • vallin96
                      vallin96  2 hours back

                      Yeah Japan is a nacionalist country that's why they don't want imports unless there no other option!

                      • mega man
                        mega man  2 hours back

                        Xbox didnt fail in Japan it just failed cause it was well trash

                        • HighOnDatDbz
                          HighOnDatDbz  2 hours back

                          Cuz its trash that's why

                          • Γιώργος Φελέκης

                            There is sony ps and nintendo ....is this actual news? Why would they want an xbox

                            • Anthony Huynh
                              Anthony Huynh  3 hours back

                              Xbox is trash

                              • hussein chaytylle
                                hussein chaytylle  3 hours back

                                Xbox will never be bigger than PlayStation and nintendo

                                • ChoppedCheeseOG
                                  ChoppedCheeseOG  3 hours back

                                  They need to stop making xboxes and drop that pc 2 already

                                  • tyree Jackson
                                    tyree Jackson  3 hours back

                                    I say one thing about Xbox it has better graphics

                                    • El Dub
                                      El Dub  3 hours back

                                      I honestly don't know how Xbox is competing, the system is garbage.

                                      • Eric Watkins
                                        Eric Watkins  3 hours back

                                        Xbox is trash

                                        • xFoxySupreme
                                          xFoxySupreme  3 hours back

                                          Real question is why do black people like the Playstation more than the Xbox? Lolz

                                          • Justin Bailey
                                            Justin Bailey  4 hours back

                                            Japan is very nationalistic and racist country. It is well known as burial ground for foreign companies. They rarely buy our products and yet sells so much to us. Korean auto maker, which is 5th largest in the world, pull out completely from Japanese market due to lack of sell. Samsung, the largest smart phone company, has to change it's name to Galaxy phone to sell in Japanese market. So, you will not see Samsung in Japan, instead you'll see Galaxy.

                                            • Maurice Burdock
                                              Maurice Burdock  4 hours back

                                              They won't buy American products because they think they're superior. And of course they want us to buy their Junk. See what I did there? I used to love Japanese games and systems then they were stuck in a rut. Games like Final Fantasy were old and games Like Mass Effect and Oblivion were fresh and better in every way. If they were to just give these Americans a chance they to would realize how stagnant the Japanese market is!

                                              • 8 6
                                                8 6  4 hours back

                                                Well I did have a xbox but I sold it because most of the good games where on my ps4.

                                                • Ezra Thornton
                                                  Ezra Thornton  4 hours back

                                                  One simple answer : the playstation

                                                  • Tam One
                                                    Tam One  4 hours back

                                                    Because the Japanese are extremely nationalistic.

                                                    • The Bee
                                                      The Bee  4 hours back

                                                      For the same reason it fails everywhere else. Since Xbox One release they couldn't come up with any games except Forza and Gears of war...That's why i went from Xbox to Playstation.

                                                      • zanychelly
                                                        zanychelly  4 hours back

                                                        9:20 - “shifting towards mobile and streaming” ... “impacting all console makers”.- Except Playstation and Nintendo.

                                                        This video seems more like propaganda... 😂

                                                        • Don't mind me
                                                          Don't mind me  4 hours back

                                                          I see Fire Emblem in the vid. I like the vid.

                                                          • Rusbel Ayala
                                                            Rusbel Ayala  5 hours back

                                                            As the great Dunkey once said:
                                                            "You get an Xbox because your friend has one"... Not because of you're a gamer

                                                            • Agent 69
                                                              Agent 69  5 hours back

                                                              First off PS4 rules. Second Nintendo will always the most loved video game company by default. Xbox is not really significant. Plus PS4 is a birth child of Nintendo and both are Japanese brands. So it's a no brainer

                                                              • Sierra P
                                                                Sierra P  5 hours back

                                                                A comment many people don’t expect,


                                                                I see that Sword Art Online poster 😏 looking forward to that game once it comes out

                                                                • Sierra P
                                                                  Sierra P  5 hours back

                                                                  That’s how I know this video is recent

                                                              • Legendary King
                                                                Legendary King  5 hours back

                                                                PC still better

                                                                • Crood
                                                                  Crood  5 hours back

                                                                  The Playstation and Nintendo consoles do well there because they are Japanese and they have a big variety of games. Like a bunch of anime games. Unlike the Xbox it has a bunch of call of duty shooters likes.

                                                                  • FamiJack
                                                                    FamiJack  5 hours back

                                                                    Are we really going to accept gaming news from these clowns? They've made it a point to try and paint us in a negative light and we're all just going to accept that suddenly they are a credible gaming news source?

                                                                    PS Yes I know the Xbox failed in Japan, they aren't wrong but still it's the principal of the matter.

                                                                    • Koriander Yander
                                                                      Koriander Yander  5 hours back

                                                                      Because Playstation wins

                                                                      • oni the demon lord
                                                                        oni the demon lord  5 hours back

                                                                        Xbox sucks also and they don't have any really good games for the Xbox one

                                                                        • Gendo3s2k
                                                                          Gendo3s2k  5 hours back

                                                                          Imagine if the 360 didn't have the RROD problem....

                                                                          • 〇
                                                                              6 hours back

                                                                            Because of its name: 凶箱

                                                                            • Oluwa Hefner
                                                                              Oluwa Hefner  6 hours back

                                                                              This voice sounds like spherehunter

                                                                              • Fucked Gplus
                                                                                Fucked Gplus  6 hours back

                                                                                ps4 is better build... not sloppy like american products.... ever opened a PlayStation its beautiful, all lined up and neat packet. and xbox is sloppy and wastefull

                                                                                • ドカバト神ゲー太郎

                                                                                  xbox was huge and Japanese houses are small!?!
                                                                                  whaaaat?!

                                                                                  • David Park
                                                                                    David Park  7 hours back

                                                                                    I don’t even have to watch the Video to already know it’s Sony’s superiority, original Xbox was boobytrapped with red rings.. I went thru like 6 consoles, just to play “Halo”..
                                                                                    Xbox is much better now. Sony is better.

                                                                                    • Andrezzi
                                                                                      Andrezzi  7 hours back

                                                                                      This has more to do with japanese culture and patriotism rather than xbox hardware/software power. Japanese are very judgmental of each other as well let's say your friend comes to you house and sees an xbox and not playstation he will be like " Traitor!! Commit seppuku publicly". Also no crossplatform what can you do with an xbox when all your friend play on playstation? Play by yourself alone lol. Buy a pc don't be a pleb.

                                                                                      • Adams Esquillo
                                                                                        Adams Esquillo  7 hours back

                                                                                        do you know why? I know it is because the box is not in X shape!!!

                                                                                        • Th3Fizzle
                                                                                          Th3Fizzle  7 hours back

                                                                                          imagine if microsoft tried penetrating japan so hard, they got konami to cast out Kojima. so that an OG developer gets forced to choose microsoft.

                                                                                          i guess if US plays money in capitalism.
                                                                                          Japan plays trust in politics.

                                                                                          • QuijanoPhD
                                                                                            QuijanoPhD  7 hours back

                                                                                            I mean, the facts are not incorrect, but the framing is super biased and the information woefully incomplete. Was the 360 the best selling console worldwide in 2011 and 2012? Maybe. Stats tracking companies like Statista dispute it. But even if we grant that, if we go one year more in 2013 it was Sony who won, and in all previous years it was either Sony or Nintendo.
                                                                                            Were corporate choices and market forces partly at fault for their lack of success? Maybe. But it seems to me that it was more of a problem with a lack of understanding of Japanese culture and wants.
                                                                                            Saying that the X Box One had a great launch is false. Did they break their company's record? Sure. But they have nowhere near the market penetration as other consoles.

                                                                                            Oh, and while we're at it, Japanese game developers are still superior to Western devs. Sure, we have a few incredible studios that put out games like Skyrim, but if we're being honest most Western games are self-derivative and only innovate on monetization, while Japanese games innovate in at least one game-related component.
                                                                                            But hey, whatever.

                                                                                            • David Bracale
                                                                                              David Bracale  7 hours back

                                                                                              they don’t buy it because there not stupid? they’d rather have a pc that can actually run a game and not look like poop

                                                                                              • M S
                                                                                                M S  8 hours back

                                                                                                Man it’s none of that. It’s the games. If Xbox just came out w some dope games people would buy lol simple as that. Ps2 had kingdom hearts, the bouncer, final fantasy x, sly cooper... you just can’t compare 🤷🏽‍♂️