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Famitsu head says 360 is dead in Japan

Hirokazu Hamamura, president of Famitsu publisher, Enterbrain, isn't making any bets on 360 winning in Japan. His reasoning: thus far the 360 has sold a paltry 150,000 consoles in Japan. He does concede that Blue Dragon -- Microsoft's would be white knight -- might add another 100,000 by the end of 2006, but that's about it. He goes on to guess that by the end of 2007, the number will only inflate to 560,000 units. Definitely not good. Granted, Hammamura-san is no analyst -- and analysts are always right -- but he does publish Japan's biggest gaming magazine after all. Is his prognosis right? Is Japan a hopeless cause for Microsoft? In the end, does it really even matter?

What do you think?

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. Eh.

This fall is the real 360 launch in Japan. The Japanese have all been taking a wait and see attitude. For those who are going to just buy a Wii, the 360 is out in left field, but so is the PS3.

360 having an install base of 250k by the end of the year is still 150k more units than PS3 will have installed by the end of the year. Neither is worth commenting on, and as long as prices are where they are, it's no contest.

Posted at 5:42PM on Oct 13th 2006 by J.Goodwin

2. Who wants the stupid dead box anyway?!

Posted at 6:03PM on Oct 13th 2006 by Sony

3. MS needs to come out of this gen. with at least a respectable percent of the marketshare; and, they cannot, under no cirumstances, stop selling 360 in Japan.

Otherwise, it will be next to impossible for them when its time to launch Xbox 360-2; just imagine if Sega tried to release a new console today...that is what MS faces in 4 years if XBOX falls completely off the radar.

Posted at 6:08PM on Oct 13th 2006 by Sagat

4. actually if Sega tried to sell a console in Japan I think it would do fine. Even after all this time, but North America is another story...

Posted at 7:03PM on Oct 13th 2006 by empfeix

5. Yeah, who cares I say. 360 a success in Japan, would be nice. Its not. Move on. MS you've tried it twice now, get over it. Concentrage on NA and Europe. Sony seems to be a good job of dropping the ball concerning Europe. MS could come up big in Europe. Push Halo3 out the door to hit PS3's Spring Launch, and even launch Halo3 in Europe first before NA. This coming from an American.

Posted at 8:56PM on Oct 13th 2006 by OS Perry

6. Is anyone else tired of hearing about MS in japan? It's like beating a dead horse. I just wish as much effort was put into fans like you and I that really like their product, instead of pulling out the red carpet for an audience that no matter MS does, wants nothing to do with anything not labeled sony or nintendo.

When will MS just start focusing on their strengths instead?

Posted at 9:26PM on Oct 13th 2006 by digiNic

7. digiNic

I think that Microsoft is focusing on their strengths. Is there anything that Microsoft isn't doing in YOUR region that you don't approve of? What are they not doing now that they should be doing?

The things they are doing in Japan (small price cuts, bundles) don't cost very much unless they start moving a lot of units, in which case they will easily make back that cost in software sales later.

Maybe the problem is that certain blogs are just reaching for any negative on Microsoft that they can, because with the kind of stupid mistakes that Sony and Nintendo are making, Microsoft ends up looking like a genius. I think there's a lot of residual Microsoft distrust in the gaming industry, and you see it all over the place.

Posted at 10:03PM on Oct 13th 2006 by J.Goodwin

8. Hey #3, you made a good point, because even though its not catching on now, with lowering of prices, development tools, and most importantly games, the Xbox at leasts stands a chance.

Hirokazu Hamamura might be right on the money, but there is always the possibility that there could be more as far as sales are concerned.

Bring the games and they will come, Microsoft's in a sweet spot right now, the competition is tight, just bring the games.

Posted at 10:09PM on Oct 13th 2006 by Hank

9. Doesn't matter. Japan is not the world. The rest of us will be happy to take up the slack from the land of vending machine panties and homogenous animation.

Posted at 10:35PM on Oct 13th 2006 by ZeroCorpse

10. japan doesint like it cuz it says xbox on the cover and because its american really even if the bundle came with an instuction how to make a nuclear bomb they will say no america we want ching chong box or Playstation. Besides really who gives a shit on how much were selling there were doing good on every other country so you know what lets give them a bundle that has call of duty 3 with america vs japan just to piss em off USA USA USA ps: the cover will show an american showing him with his thumbs up, smiling when he is droping the bomb

Posted at 10:59PM on Oct 13th 2006 by Mike

11. Tuberculosis!

Posted at 11:33PM on Oct 13th 2006 by thomdano

12. J.Goodwin

i hear you, dont get me started about other blogs and its rabid comments from readers.
but anyway this is nothing new, japan never even gave xbox a chance. its cool to be loyal but here you have microsoft bending over backwards and still nothing.

i can see why people would think japan doesnt like xbox because its american but thats not the full story. but heres what i dont like about the japanese, they say xbox is too violent(gears) yet when sony makes a similar violent game (lesistance rall of man) they are ready to eat it up

Posted at 12:54AM on Oct 14th 2006 by reguy

13. Honestly, the bigger and more worldwide the gaming business gets the more Japan is being left in the dust by European and American developers. The days of Japan being a mythical "gaming mecca" where all the best games were bought, sold and made are coming to a close. Even developers like Keiji Inafune of the awesome Dead Rising and Lost Planet admits as much, lamenting the fact that the Japanese gaming market and community is stagnating with a fixation on bizarre and repetitive games (Dynasty Warriors and endless train simulators). I am wondering how important "winning" Japan will be in a decade or so to major game companies/developers.I think Xbox is on the right track with their launching in countries like India and other untapped markets starving for great games.

Posted at 1:09AM on Oct 14th 2006 by ElementsUnknown

14. You still can't ignore Japan altogether. They made up around 20% of hardware sales last gen - that's too large a chunk of money to not try for it.

Posted at 1:42AM on Oct 14th 2006 by jeffers

15. What will be interesting is as MS continues to explore new markets (India, Africa, etc), the Japanese market may continue to slide in its overall market position--i'm not sure if it is behind europe or vice versa, both of which are a fraction of the US. There are definitely some new booming markets in some of these new countries (see Bollywood).

Posted at 8:42AM on Oct 14th 2006 by Soren

16. The key is for MS do well in other Asian markets. The Japanese will never support a Western game product. If MS had total Japanese game developers support this would be a different story. Sony has the people wrapped up. Japan better hope that the PS3 is the best thing since slice bread, because if Western developers took a wait and see approach the PS3 would done.

Posted at 9:08AM on Oct 14th 2006 by The1

17. I have to say, Msoft is still playing it pretty smart as far as japan goes.

However, they simply will not win out in japan with this generation.

I think the question is more: can msoft make headway in japan this generation. that has yet to be seen, but I've gotta give msoft a lot of cred. They've obviously appealed to the regional developers, especially trying to present their platform as a development friendly one, and relayed the need for new francises, which could help freshen things up (cuz honestly... I know japanese business men hate rocking the boat, but how many gundam games can the japanese audience take?)

obviously DOAX2, lost Odyssey, and Blue Dragon are either going to make or break the system in japan, but there is no way they're gonna be a a "BREAKOUT SUCCESS". However, there is potential that they could prime the market for other japanese influenced games, as long as Msoft keeps the momentum and continue to hire the big J-names, than we could see some seeds planted for the xbox future success.

But again, I emphasis, the 360 is gonna fail in japan. the question is "how badly"

Posted at 10:04AM on Oct 14th 2006 by aragorn

18. I'm not one of those whitenese anime dorks so I really dont care what japan does. And with the US and europe being bigger markets this generation, it really doesnt matter. I know all my friends have a 360 or plan on getting one. We all plan on getting a ps3 also, but to sell them on ebay.

Posted at 10:34AM on Oct 14th 2006 by tacklebox

19. I have actually read several different websites that say by the end of 2007, Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey will have added over one-million total sales to the Xbox 360 hardware sales in Japan. It would not surprise me if that happened. Especially when you consider that the lines for Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey were so much longer than the lines of anything shown for the Playstation 3.

One other thing. Next-Generation made a Top 20 List of Tokyo Game Show Games. 7 of the games were exclusive Xbox 360 games! 3 of the top 4 were for the Xbox 360! Not only that, but Next-Generation said that BOTH Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey deserved to be #1, so they let those to games be Co-Games of the Show!

If software is what sells systems, the Xbox 360 will end up doing better than the Playstation 3 in Japan.

Posted at 7:36PM on Oct 14th 2006 by Michael Zoran

20. its funny that some people think it's an american made console lol. the system is made in hong kong and the controller is made in mexico... yeah gooo america. the only american thing behind it is the greedy bastard of a company who only got into the business to make money, which he is failing at. bill gates actually said he doesn't care about making good games he just wants money. well i wouldn't call the japanese stupid they just know more than you fools know. everyone raise your glass to the continuation of the failure of the xbox and any future consoles they make.

Posted at 2:21AM on Oct 15th 2006 by E

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