Sun setting on 360′s retail presence in Japan

Thursday, 18th August 2011 10:26 GMT By Stace Harman

Microsoft’s console has never set the Japanese charts alight, but six years after its launch falling sales are prompting some retailers to call time on Xbox 360.

An article by Edge, published on its NextGen website, suggests that with year on year sales of Xbox 360 down 46.7 percent and the console’s last high-profile Japanese exclusive, Idolmaster 2, being ported to PS3, Japanese retailers have seen enough and are starting to phase out the console from their stores.

A drop in sales is not limited to 360 – PS3 has also suffered a smaller 17.1 percent dip in the same period – but it’s the numbers that these dips equate to that hammers home the beleaguered sales performance of Xbox, with just 72,721 units sold for the year-to-date, compared to 735,637 PS3s.

This has led the nation’s largest specialist retailer, Geo, to scale back its 360 business yet further, while Edge reports that “staff at electronics retailer Yamada Denki in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, confirmed that the company is removing hardware and software from the majority of its stores nationwide, and is selling off its remaining stock at a heavy discount. It will still sell the console and games, but only in selected stores where the system continues to be sufficiently popular.”

Microsoft announced in June that it had sold around 1.5 million consoles in the region in the six years since launch – that’s comparable to the number of 3DS units sold in Japan since February this year.

Despite its lack of traction in Japan, the region remains important to the American company – it recently appointed Takashi Sensui as general manager for Xbox in Japan. The firm will also want to ensure that retailers are on-board when its next generation of Xbox hardware is launched, likely at some point in the next few years.

Thanks, Joystiq



  1. tenthousandgothsonacid

    It’s pretty simple MS, next time don’t make such a fugly console and Japan will open up.

    I’d be more inclined to buy one too

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Blerk

    I don’t really like the design of any of the consoles this gen. The Wii’s the least offensive, I think.

    Anyway, I’m surprised they’ve lasted this long. Lucky for them Japan’s not the ‘must have’ market it used to be.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. reask

    If MS had any sense they would exclude Japan from there next console.
    simply put it down to it been too expensive to market with little or no results.
    A bit of reverse psychology always works.
    They would be pining for it after 6 months.
    It would be selling on the black market for like 2 grand a pop.

    Think about it and you will get my drift.
    Well maybe not but still it has to be worth a try after this gens disaster for ms in the region.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. ManuOtaku

    I think this has to do with too many factors, some of them were pinpointed by patricks great article on the xbox console, that XBOX in japan is transleted the death box or something like that, and also the fact that it is a foreign product, those are key for this thing, and add to that the Red light issue, is understandable if you ask me

    Now i think they need to make the new console that not shows the X so much, that will be hard but they need to do something for next gen.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Telepathic.Geometry

    I think that the real problem is, what does the 360 have that the PS3 doesn’t have that is of interest to the Japanese gamer (or even to me to be honest), and the answer is fuck all.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. JackTheLittle

    ^ exactly.that’s same for me! not only its not interesting but its disgusting too sometimes :D

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Blerk

    @5, quite. Microsoft started off quite well, hoovering up exclusives that would/should appeal to the region, but then they just sort of… stopped. And gave up, it seems.

    I can only surmise that with the huge rise in popularity of Western games they determined that it wasn’t worth the effort to chase Japanese titles any more. Which is a bit of a shame, because with a bit more investment it’s entirely possible that Japan wouldn’t have fallen so far back this gen.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Ireland Michael

    The whole Ddeath Box” explanation is strenuous at best.

    It’s straight up xenophobia, and nothing else. They don’t like it because it’s an American product, simple as that.

    It seems THAT the current generation of young Japanese people are a little more open-minded and embracive of foreign ideas (which is entirely understandable and expected in the information age) than past generations, so this is a trend that seems to slowly changing, though sadly a little too late for the Xbox.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. TheWulf


    True as that might be we really can’t blame them for it. I mean, have you seen how 90% of gamers react to the anime art style? There’s xenophobia all over the world. It’s not an excuse and it shouldn’t be, but it’s everywhere. Of course they prefer things that are local. But so does the vast majority, perhaps even you.

    My point here is that I think that Japan gets a lot of unfair flack for xenophobia when the Western world is as xenophobic, if not MORE xenophobic, than Japan.

    #9 3 years ago

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