Inafune feels domestic brand loyalty may have been 360′s downfall in Japan

Tuesday, 2nd April 2013 19:23 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Keiji Inafune has a theory on why Xbox 360 hasn’t been much of a hit in Japan.

Speaking with IGN, the Soul Sacrifice developer said while he loves the PlayStation brand, he enjoy’s Microsoft’s offering as well – and supported the console as much as possible during his tenure at Capcom.

“I understand Japanese users don’t prefer Xbox 360, but if I was asked why, I wouldn’t be able to put a finger on it,” he said. “Probably one of the reasons is because PlayStation is a domestic brand in Japan, as a Japanese [person], I think it’s only natural you feel closer or attached more to domestic products and I find myself being that way too.

“When you see two products with similar features and one is from your own country and the other is from foreign countries, it’s easy to pick the one from your own country.”

Inafune said brand loyalty may have been averted in some instances should Xbox 360 had more console-exclusive offerings on the market; however, since “usually a title is developed for multiple platforms,” that wasn’t the case.

Sony is slated to release its PS4 in time for the holiday shopping season, and it’s rumored Microsoft will be vying for shelf space as well. Hopefully, the later’s next console can crack the Japanese market a bit better than last time out.



  1. Clupula

    Personally, I think it’s a waste of time and money for Microsoft to even attempt to capture Japan again.

    It’s a win-win if they avoid it altogether, to be quite honest. They save several million on a region they won’t win and Japanese developers can focus on the PS4. Win-win.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dragon246

    Its not only what Inafune says, its the truth. Same reason why 360 enjoys more popularity in USA.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Francis O

    Microsoft is dead in Japan because their Xbox 360 was faulty. That didn’t help either. The RROD and having to pay for online was not cool. You can play Wii,PSP,DS,3DS,Vita,Wii U,and PS3 online for free.

    Microsoft supported Japan will a slew of great RPGs in the beginning, but where was Lost Odyssey 2 or Blue Dragon 2?

    They should have made Xbox Live free and supported the 360 with an actual Japanese studio. That would have helped.

    Either way, the Xbox brand is dead in Japan, The Xbox 720 or whatever Microsoft calls it, Will be DOA in Japan. And MS isn’t going to pay for exclusive RPGs again.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. monkeygourmet

    The real battle next gen will be for the US / Europe, especially from a media and subscription gaming service perspective.

    Even Jap devs fell behind in a huge way this generation, a lot becoming less and less relevant and putting out shoddier and shoddier work.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Djoenz

    Japan keeps all the good stuff for themselves:

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Francis O

    #4 Japan is still very relevant though. Look at how much money Nintendo is making in Japan. The 3DS is selling like crazy, Animal Crossing has sold almost 4 million copies in Japan alone! Dragon Quest VII is over 1 million copies, Metal Gear Rising Revengeance had excellent sales.

    There is plenty of money to be made in Japan. Japan is still very relevant. I’m guessing your not looking at the Media Create charts VG247 posts up.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. monkeygourmet


    It’s genre more than ‘good stuff’ I think.

    It’s like the same as FPS’s not doing so well in Japan as in the west.

    There’s still a huge market for JRPG’s, Dynasty Warrior games, Dating Sims etc… Thing is, a lot of those games are god awful shit and only the most Manga obsessed shut in could receive much pleasure from them, while grinding on his ‘hug pillow’.

    However, then games like Dark Souls come along and all is forgiven.

    It’s a reason a lot Western gamers have ‘seen through’ some of the stagnant and archaic gameplay a lot of JRPG’s offer and a lot of Japanese Devs have been forced to change their approach.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. monkeygourmet


    I’m not saying its a dead duck, just that the insular nature won’t really be a worry for MS.

    Sony needs US market more than MS needs Japan, basically.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Rocketbilly

    @ #2Dragon246:

    That is probably not the reason why the 360 did better in the US than the PS3. The PS3 had terible sales in every market when compared to the performance of the PS1 and PS2, most likely as a result of comparatively high prices and few games. Sales show that the US is actually more supportive of foreign produced and designed electronics than domestic, and historically Japanese game consoles have dominated the US Market. Additionally, Japan has endemic levels of xenophobic nationalism that are far greater than those in the US.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Djoenz

    lol there are tons of good jrpg’s still out there or games from Japan. A lot are Japan only unfortunately.

    Ni No Kuni rekindled a lot of spirits aparantly.
    The Last Guardian everybody is waiting for.

    I could name tons of japanese games. I heard Nier was a great game but didnt sell well.

    I havent played a decent japanese game myself lately, but I think your statements are way off.

    Shit Im even waiting for FFXHD myself. I will try Ni No Kuni someday. I will try Nier someday. I will try type0, Versus,MGS on ps3,The Last Guardian etc.

    A lot of JRPGS on ps3 till this day are not popular by the masses, but let me tell you there are some niche JRPGS that some people absolutely love for ps3.

    I cant remember the titles, but I know some dude that is all about the niche jrpg’s.

    Shit I started hardcore gaming because of JRPG’s.


    Sorry my bad ignore this post, cause I think I read your post the wrong way lol.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. dkpunk

    Might not be a bad idea to leave Japan to the 3DS/WiiU or PS4. Would save them some money and concentrate on areas that have relevance to current gaming.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Eddie Rodrigues

    It is the same reason why most “United-Staters” (Americans is a term that only should be used to refer to people born ANYWHERE in the continent) bought an X360 instead. I personally think this is simple and straight Xenophobia but I know each is entitled to like a console more than other in either way, but Brazil didn’t raise the GO NATIONALISM! flag when Zeebo came out, in fact I never saw someone playing that excuse of cellphone simulator.

    @11 Forgot Vita and PSP

    #12 2 years ago
  13. dkpunk

    Intentional, even though I own and love them both. Ninty always seems to destroy Sony’s handhelds.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Lengendaryboss

    @13 Because they are the masters of handhelds apparently and their titles japanese love them like Pokemon.

    #14 2 years ago

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