Thursday, August 18, 2011

Xbox 360 being phased out in Japan

Apparently, the Xbox 360 is officially becoming history and stores will no longer stock them in Japan. I was aware that the 360 was already doing extremely poorly in Japan, but I didn't expect them to just do away with it completely. You can read the rest of the article here:

I think this is an interesting example of the differences in demographics and culture between the east and west. The Xbox and its sole reliance on western brands is understandably unappealing to the Japanese market. On the flip side, you may have noticed the millions of anime games that come out in Japan every year but never make it to the U.S. Still, I think this shows how limited the Xbox 360 is in terms of appeal.

Note that I'm not saying any of this out of fanboy bias; everything I've observed is purely logical. I've always felt that the Xbox 360's appeal is too narrow and limited to extremely western gamers. This is proven by the fact that the PS3 has still outsold the 360 in every region except the United States (Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada). The 360's sales are strong, but its clearly concentrated greatly within its own territory. This is what it owes its already minuscule 3 million unit lead over the PS3 to (and of course, the one year head start).

This is why I have always stuck by the Playstation 3. Brand familiarity was a part of the reason, but it was mainly the exclusives I was looking at. The only exclusive titles worth noting on the 360 are the Gears of War and Halo series, and I don't care for either of them. As I've said, they rely too much on the western preference for shooters. On the other hand, the PS3 had Metal Gear Solid 4, LittleBigPlanet, inFamous, Uncharted, God of War 3, the upcoming release of FF Versus XIII, and a few lesser titles like Heavy Rain and Valkyria Chronicles. Note that half of those titles are from western developers, so no one can argue that western developers are all on the 360's side, as all the best ones seem to be with Sony.

Couple its game library with its blu-ray capability (no contest here, since blu-ray is technically the current format king and HD-DVD is considered obsolete) and superior hardware, and it was no wonder I preferred Sony's machine. Again, I'm trying to be unbiased here. All I considered were the plain facts, and the fact was that the Playstation 3 was more appealing to me in every way. This is why I think it has always been the superior choice, and why the rest of the world seems to embrace it over the 360.



  1. I'm a PS3 fan myself, but I had NO idea that the Xbox was doing so bad in Japan :P
    I personally feel like most people here in North America are sheep xD. For various reasons, but a gaming example would be Call of Duty. People would buy that game if it was played with stick figures :/. And that's why I think the Xbox is still so popular here.

  2. Yeah, I honestly have to say...I think the majority of Xbox 360 owners are very narrow-minded and think games like Call of Duty are the only games that exist. They ARE like sheep, and are satisfied with the same old thing over and over again. That's why CoD sells so well, and why the 360 has such strong support in the States only. If they were to see REAL games with artistic value like Okami or Catherine, they would say "what is this gay crap".

    But yeah, the 360 has barely sold over a million units in Japan, over the course of about 6 years. By comparison, the 3DS has sold that many in 6 MONTHS and it has been doing extremely poorly.

  3. Can you blame the westerns. I even have friends on PS3 who play nothing but CoD. You have to admit that Xbox Live is a better service then PSN, hence the reason why Xbox is more supported here. Although, I do believe that Microsoft are killing the Xbox with kinect stuff, and the lack of first party developers.

  4. Its true, Live definitely has more support, mainly due to them loving online CoD play so much. Though honestly, I would never pay for online play, so I still prefer the PS3 there.

  5. Even though I do have a PS3 for myself, I haven't got around to play it that much (played Gundam Senki 0081 and FFXIII). As for XBOX 360 I have very little contact of it except once when I was playing Gears of War with a friend of mine in the UK.

    Given that XBOX is a western console in the first place, I do feel that there are likely to be not many Japanese games that have been made onto that platform for the Japanese market. Besides, it also seems to be that many western games don't really get through and reach and Japanese market - mainly those that are FPS or real war related (there is an article I've read several years ago that Japanese gamers tend to like to see an avatar or the character they are controlling in-game). Maybe what I've said there may seem wrong to you, but at least this is how I've observed and felt about it.

    But I am still a tad surprised that a final nail in the coffin really is about to be hit on the XBOX 360 for the Japanese market. It somehow reminds me of how western superhero comics tend to struggle to boom in Japan as well as I've read in BBC not too long ago.

  6. it's not just western gamers eastern gamers they also play the xbox live games I know japanese gamers that play call of duty and halo 24/7 and you can't blame microsoft they are really new to the gaming industry so I'm gonna give them 5 more years and if they haven't improved by then I'm just gonna move to japan or if the economy collapses in a year I'm moving to australia then japan


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