Next week kicks off the next generation of consoles. Microsoft and Sony to offer - a week apart in France, two days in the United States - their new machines. And for more than a year, the American firm has repeatedly reminded us of its desire to invest in Japan. Third largest video game market, the land of the rising sun is currently dominated by Nintendo. And Xbox wants more than ever to develop its presence there, which is now almost non-existent. With the arrival of the Xbox Series X|S which notably offers an inexpensive entry point to the Xbox ecosystem and the possibility of playing on mobile, console and PC with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, Microsoft has a card to play.
The games of Japanese studios have been significantly highlighted within the service or during the various events held this year.. The Yakuza, whose next-gen exclusivity of the seventh episode, Dragon Quest XI S, joining Xbox Game Pass in December, or Balan Wonderworld announced at an Xbox showcase demonstrate the manufacturer's desire to attract Japanese gamers.
According to Hideki Yasuda, analyst at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo, reported by Bloomberg, Xbox has the potential to grow in this market.
Xbox has the opportunity to make Japan its second biggest market after the United States if the manufacturer makes the right decisions in the years to come. Sony's attention is waning and fans have started to notice.
Hideki Yasuda here alludes to Sony's choice to focus on the US market as a priority following sales of the PS4 in Japan considered disappointing. According to Famitsu, video-game news media in the land of the rising sun, less of 10 million PS4s sold there on 113 million units distributed. Lower performance than the PS3. Bloomberg, however, notes the words of a spokesperson for Sony who certifies that the company is still focused mainly on its home market. Interesting fact all the same, the two main Playstation events this year were held at 5 hours of the morning, japanese time. Added to this for the first time is the generalization of the X button to validate and the O button to cancel, whereas historically, and however 26 years, it was the other way around in Japan.
Why pick up all these comments from Bloomberg's paper ? Simply to tap Microsoft's real potential with the Xbox Series X|S. Unlike the Xbox One - which was released in Japan a year after its release in Europe and the United States - the two new Xbox consoles will enjoy an international launch this. 10 November. But the challenge is great. This year, according to Famistu, Xbox One only represents 0,1% machine sales, against 10,1% for the PS4 and 89,8% for Nintendo Switch.
Hideki Yasuda thinks the size of the Xbox Series S is a real plus. Previous consoles were criticized for their dimensions not suitable for Japanese living spaces. To reach this audience, more games should also be released on the Xbox ecosystem. Sarah Bond, which manages the relations with the developers for the American manufacturer, reports that discussions have progressed with the studios for a more regular release of their titles on Xbox. For example, Hisashi Koinuma, President of Koei Tecmo Games Co. said he was ready to consider releasing more games on Microsoft consoles if the US company continues to show interest in Japan.
On top of that, there is evidence according to Bloomberg that the Redmond firm is seeking to acquire Japanese development studios. Some would have claimed that Microsoft would have approached them for a possible takeover. For the sake of anonymity, Bloomberg does not specify any names or how the discussions unfolded.
Jérémy Hinton, head of Xbox operations in Asia, broached the subject, stating that the company was still open to discussions with developers who may well fit into the manufacturer's current policy. However, as you can doubt, nothing to announce yet. Hinton also says the goal is not just to sell consoles, but also to attract new subscribers to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, notably thanks to the xCloud component. Xbox wants to reach growing audience of mobile gamers in the country.
Some analysts, however, remain very cautious about the possible success of Microsoft in the country.. This, consultant in the video game industry in Japan, went from his little statement.
Microsoft will continue to struggle in Japan, and I don't see any reason why the next Xbox would do better in the country than the previous models. Everything suggests that in the coming years, Nintendo will remain king in Japan, and I really don't understand why Microsoft is still obsessed with Japan.
No one is guessing and we will know in the years to come whether Microsoft's growing investment in the land of the rising sun will pay off..
And you, what do you think of the approach and strategy chosen by xbox to find a place in the hearts of japanese gamers ?
I find it is a lot of effort for little return although the early figures are encouraging for the Xbox series !
Personally, Japanese games are not my cup of tea and if I feel like having one or two I buy a used ps5 and I make them 3 or 4 games that tempt me before reselling it (i did this for ps4)
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World news – FR – Xbox in Japan – Opportunity for success and search for studios to acquire