The Xbox 360 has had a rough time in Japan. Microsoft’s console struggled to find its footing, and sales were so poor that several major Japanese retailers elected to stop carrying the system at all. But putting aside the low sales figures, the general apathy Japanese gamers seem to show for the system, and the numerous stunts Microsoft has resorted to in order to remain even partially relevant in the homeland of both Sony and Nintendo, things are – apparently – looking up.
“I wouldn’t say that Xbox 360 sales were low. To some people it was low, but to us, each user means so much [as an underdog company],” Naoyuki Isogai, director of Xbox marketing, told GameRevolution. “An individual user is very important to us, so even though the numbers might not be as high as some other systems, we will continue to show support to Japan. We will try to increase the number of course. Every company will. But our individual fans are important enough that we’ll continue here.”
Although Isogai wouldn’t give specific numbers, sales of the Xbox 360 in Japan have been reported to be around 1.65 million. In contrast, the PlayStation 3 sold around 9.5 million, while the Wii sold close to 12.75 million units. For better context: after eight years in Japan, the Xbox 360 has sold just 600K more than the lowly Wii U, which came out in late 2012.
It’s interesting to hear that Microsoft is throwing convention to the wind and not being bogged down by pesky details like sales. Thankfully for those that actually rely on Microsoft for the little things like earning a paycheck and making a living, Japan is no longer a major target for Xbox maker, and arguably not for Sony either. Both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 will be released in North America, Europe, and South America this year, as well as many parts of Asia, including South Korea and Malaysia. The PS4 is scheduled for release in Japan in February 2014, but it may be well into next year before Japanese consumers have the chance to not buy an Xbox One.