Microsoft cuts Japan price for Xbox

Xbox 360 Elite

Microsoft Corp. said Wednesday it is cutting the price in Japan for its high-end Xbox 360 game console by 25 percent in a bid to lift demand ahead of the critical year-end shopping season.

The Xbox 360 Elite will now cost 29,800 yen ($320), down from 39,800 yen. The move was in line with Microsoft’s announcement last week that it was slashing the U.S. price for the Xbox 360 Elite by $100 to $299.

“With the price cut, we hope to boost demand for the Xbox game console. The Christmas and year-end shopping season is very important for us,” said Joji Sakaguchi, director of Xbox marketing in Japan.

Microsoft is locked in a three-way game console battle with Japanese rivals Nintendo Co. and Sony Corp. But sales of Microsoft’s Xbox game console are lagging far behind Nintendo’s hugely popular Wii home console and Sony’s PlayStation.

The Xbox’s market share only stands at 9 percent in the Japanese game market, worth 550 billion yen, compared with the Wii’s 65 percent. Sony’s PlayStation commands a 26 percent market share in Japan, according to data from Tokai Tokyo Securities Co. Ltd.

Microsoft’s price cut followed a similar move by Sony, which recently slashed the U.S. price for PlayStation 3 to $299.

Sakaguchi said he was confident going into the competition during the holiday season with both the Xbox 360 Elite and Sony’s PlayStation 3 now costing $299 in the United States.

“We are confident that we will do well during the upcoming holiday season. We cannot lose,” he said. During the busy Christmas season, game makers rake in most of their sales for the year.

Sony said last week a new PlayStation 3 will go on sale in Japan on Thursday priced at 29,980 yen.

Ken Kitabayashi, a consultant specializing in the game industry at leading think Nomura Research Institute Ltd., said the discounted prices by Microsoft and Sony would likely create new demand, helping spur the recession-hit industry.

“With Microsoft and Sony both selling their game consoles below 30,000 yen, it could attract people who have shunned pricey game consoles,” he said.

Microsoft has three versions of its Xbox 360 game consoles at three different prices. Apart from the high-end Xbox Elite, it has the mid-range Xbox 360 Pro, which costs 29,800 yen in Japan. The company also sells the Xbox 360 Arcade, the cheapest among the three, with the price tag of 19,800 yen. The Arcade does not have a hard drive.

Sakaguchi said the company is phasing out the mid-range Xbox 360 Pro.

“We will clear our stock. Once all our stock is gone, we won’t be making the Xbox 360 Pro,” he said.

Microsoft has sold more than 31.4 million of the Xbox 360 machines globally, compared with 23.7 million Sony’s PlayStation 3 machines and 52.6 million of Nintendo’s Wiis.

Since its launch in 2006, Nintendo’s Will hit 50 million unit sales worldwide in March 2009 at the fastest pace of any video game machine ever. The Wii is priced at $250 in the U.S., and 25,000 yen in Japan.

Nintendo said Wednesday it has no plan to cut the price of the Wii.


Buy a new Switch console and get a $35 eShop gift card at some retailers

Multiple retailers are currently offering the Neon Blue and Red Nintendo Switch console with a free $35 eShop gift card. The system still costs the standard $300 and includes Joy-Con controllers and the dock.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC

Thrive in the nuclear apocalypse with our Metro Exodus survival guide

Metro Exodus is a difficult shooter, especially if you're new to the series' blend of stealth, action, and scavenging. Here is what you need to know to survive the nuclear apocalypse.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

Here's our Champion's guide to picking the best character in Apex Legends

Apex Legends' use of heroes with different abilities helps separate it from other battle royale games. To help you choose your legend, we've put together a legend guide detailing their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.

Transport your Nintendo Switch in style with these nifty cases

The Nintendo Switch, which boasts both wired and handheld modes, needs a good case to ensure it doesn't get beat up while you're on the go. We scoured through dozens of Switch cases to bring you the best ones.

These are the best weapons for taking down mutants and bandits in Metro Exodus

Metro Exodus is a very difficult game, and choosing the right weapons is key for surviving the post-apocalyptic Russia that 4A Games has created. These are the best weapons in Metro Exodus.

Exotic Masterwork Weapons are in Destiny 2. Here's how to upgrade

Destiny 2's new Masterwork gear offers a number of special bonuses. Here is what you need to know about it, including how to find the gear in the game and even create it yourself.

How to keep a PS4 in your pocket with the PlayStation Mobile app

Sony built the PlayStation 4 with smartphone and mobile integration in mind. Take a look at our guide for connecting your smartphone or tablet to a PS4, so you can get the most out of the system while on the go.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

You're not a true fan without these Nintendo Switch exclusives

Who doesn't love a good Nintendo game? If you're looking for great first-party titles for your Nintendo Switch, take a look at our list of the very best exclusives available right now.