While those in the west see the Xbox 360 a definite success
), Japan is a completely different story. Having only sold 300,000 units throughout the first year in its lifespan, the 360 has a long
way to go in the land of the rising sun. Gamasutra sits down with a localization specialist and Kotaku's Japanese correspondent to discuss Microsoft's prospects in Japan. The prognosis: it needs work. While the two disagree on a few points (the localization director sees the glass half-empty, whereas the other sees it half-full) the overall picture is somewhat grim. The Xbox 360 has been gaining some ground in the past few months. Titles like Blue Dragon
(and to a lesser extent Gears of War
) have helped generate 360 sales, but it's not nearly enough to gain a decent market share. Microsoft's biggest hurdle will be penetrating the culture barrier and understanding Japanese consumers (and apparently Do! do! do! isn't cutting it).
With more Japanese titles on the way (namely Lost Odyssey
), Microsoft better get its marketing crew in gear if they want to stand a chance in Japan. If MS can get a foothold in Japan, it means more variety for everyone, and that's always a good thing.