Skip to main content

Despite exceedingly poor Xbox 360 sales in Japan, Microsoft likes its chances

despite exceedingly poor xbox 360 sales microsoft likes its chances in japan
Image used with permission by copyright holder

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.

Editors' Recommendations

Ryan Fleming
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Ryan Fleming is the Gaming and Cinema Editor for Digital Trends. He joined the DT staff in 2009 after spending time covering…
Xbox has new Ninja Turtles controllers … and they smell like pizza
Players use Ninja Turtles themed Xbox controllers.

Microsoft and Paramount Pictures are giving away Xbox controllers based on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem, which they are proudly proclaiming are "the world's first pizza-scented Xbox controllers."
This is not the first time Microsoft and Paramount created weird Xbox controllers to give away in a sweepstakes. Its fuzzy Sonic and Knuckles controllers released around Sonic the Hedgehog 2 also gained a lot of attention in February 2022. Still, there's never been an Xbox controller quite like this. Four controllers exist, which are an oozy green, have art of one of the turtles on it, and have the top of a pizza sticking out of the back. According to Microsoft, that is what is actually pizza-scented.

"Satisfy your hunger for kicking butt with the world’s first ever pizza-scented controller," Microsoft says in an Xbox Wire post about the controller. "Designed to deliver the smell of the Turtles’ beloved meal to your game time, these exclusive Xbox Wireless Controllers come with a built-in scent diffuser shaped like a slice of delicious New York ‘za." That's a pretty fancy way to say you've made a controller that smells weird and will continue to smell even weirder as time goes on. They don't even specify what kind of pizza it smells like!
To have a chance to nab one of these controllers, people need to follow Xbox Game Pass on Twitter (or X, as it's being rebranded to) and retweet (re-X?) a tweet (an X, I hate this) that the account will eventually post before August 13. What you do after you get one of these is on you.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem hits theaters on August 2. 

Read more
Microsoft beat the FTC. Here’s what the controversial court ruling means for Xbox
Xbox's logo used during the Extended Games Showcase

You’ve probably heard that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lost its case against Microsoft after an exciting and revelatory trial. On Tuesday, Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley denied FTC's motion for a preliminary injunction to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard before its potential completion by July 18. Ultimately, Corley did not believe that Microsoft owning Call of Duty would “substantially lessen competition” in the game industry. It was major win for Microsoft after months of regulatory hoops and roadblocks, but the FTC quickly moved to appeal the decision. This all raises an important question: What’s next?

Over the next week, Microsoft, Activision Blizzard, and the FTC will determine the fate of the gaming companies involved in this acquisition and set a precedent for the future of the game industry. On top of that, Microsoft still has to deal with the next moves made by the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which wants to block the acquisition due to its impact on cloud gaming. Following the release of Judge Corley’s Preliminary Injunction Opinion, I spoke to two analysts and a lawyer with knowledge of the video game industry to better understand what lies ahead for Microsoft and Activision, the FTC, and the CMA. The battle isn't quite over yet, even if the end is finally on the horizon.
What’s next for Microsoft and Activision Blizzard
Currently, Microsoft and Activision are in a solid position, as a Judge has ruled that Microsoft is unlikely to pull Call of Duty from PlayStation or lessen competition in the game console, cloud gaming, or game subscription markets by acquiring Activision Blizzard. There’s a temporary restraining order in place until July 14, which the FTC hopes to successfully appeal during. As soon as that order is up, though, Microsoft and Activision Blizzard have until July 18 to complete the acquisition.

Read more
Microsoft wins FTC case, removing Xbox’s biggest Activision Blizzard acquisition hurdle
Characters shooting in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

Following a multi-week court case, Microsoft has won its battle with the Federal Trade Commission regarding its proposed Activision Blizzard acquisition. The ruling is a major win for Microsoft's troubled deal, clearing the biggest hurdle it faced.

Last January, Microsoft announced its intention to acquire Activision Blizzard for $69 billion. The blockbuster announcement immediately raised antitrust concerns, which resulted in the FTC filing a legal challenge in December 2022. Microsoft has not been able to proceed with the acquisition since then, as its faced similar scrutiny in the U.K.

Read more