Japanese retailers scaling back Xbox 360 sales

Microsoft's Xbox 360 console may be a huge seller in the US and Europe, but in Japan, Microsoft has yet to make any significant inroads. Now there are reports that Japanese retailers are cutting back on the supplies of the consoles they are selling in stores. Edge reports that Geo, a large game retailer in that country, has already announced it it cutting its Xbox 360 shipments. Another retailer, Yamada Denki, has announced it will remove the Xbox 360 console and games in a majority of its stores while discounting a lot of its remaining stock.

Since launching in 2005, Microsoft has only managed to sell about 1.5 million units of the Xbox 360 hardware. In July, Microsoft announced yet another attempt to boost sales of the console in Japan. That included forming a new Interactive Entertainment Business division in that country and also announcing plans to better promote its Kinect motion controller camera. However those efforts may be too little, too late as more Xbox 360 consoles and games are showing up in bargain bins in Japan.

Neither the original Xbox nor the Xbox 360 have been able to sell well in Japan. The Edge article points out that if and when Microsoft wants to launch a successor to the Xbox 360, it may have to deal with Japanese retailers who may not want to put their money behind a new console.

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22 Comments

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The demographic of people who actually buy game consoles in Japan is higher than the the ones who do in the USA to be honest. How many games sell millions in a week in America regardless how popular/good it is? Not many, how many in Japan? MANY. Also, Japanese people rather choose a system that has more functionality which is the PS3, as when the PS2 came out, it was the cheapest DVD player, whereas the PS3 is the cheapest not only Blu-Ray player, but also a digital streaming, semi-PC, social networking beast of a machine.

I am not saying this because I am a PS3 owner, I would love a 360 as well considering there's a lot of Japanese games that come out for it that don't even come out in USA or any other country that I want, but the 360 doesn't have much else to offer aside from a fierce fighting game community online worldwide.

360 sales in Japan have been flat for years, usually at around 2k a week. Even so, Sony has yet to close the gap between units sold even though they've outsold the the barely existent 360 Japanese numbers. At this point in the game, reducing Japanese sales is irrelevant since it was barely existent to begin with.

Personally, I find ALL consoles a waste of money. I'll play games on my PC over a console any day of the week. 127 million or not, I'm pro-American, all the way. Let Japan work its own market.

ScubaDog said,
Personally, I find ALL consoles a waste of money. I'll play games on my PC over a console any day of the week. 127 million or not, I'm pro-American, all the way. Let Japan work its own market.
But consoles are more for relaxing. And i can have 4 player splitscreen on my PC. I can on my xbox.

There's been resistance to an american console in the Japanese market based on the fact it's not Japanese.

However I also feel that Microsoft tried to micro manage the Japanese market too much from the united states. Japanese living rooms are typically much smaller yet look at the room requirements for the kinnect.

Also sports, and FPS's are not as popular in japan as it is in the usa yet see what is the prominent AAA titles. I feel they should of given money to the Japanese division and let them run it however they wanted as long as they were turning a profit or looking to turn a profit with the option to import anything in the us.

Well when it was the original XBox being shunned I was willing to say it's because a lot of people in Japan have small houses and the XBox was just an enormous piece of hardware to try and cram into an entertainment center. After seeing the PS3 outsell the 360 when it's about the same size, shows that it's just nationalism. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I just remember seeing a lot of reports on the failure of the original XBox in Japan, and a lot of people said it was because of how huge it was.

1.5million might not sound like much but how much does the average game sell in Japan? I mean something big like FF sells around 2-3million copies. In the end, even though it hasn't sold great it's got a part and even if a developer sells 500k to that 1.5m owners it's worth it for them in that area.

We'll see how the 3rd Xbox does, if they sell better each gen then I guess the next one will sell around 5 million probably. heh.

Please remember that just as much as we claim "buy American,' the Japanese will actually do that better than we do. Sony PS3 is Japanese. but Xbox has captured not only the American and Euopean maket but has captured everything else. So who gives a damn about the 128m population anyway!!!

Enron said,
I remember when games from Japan mattered.

Yeah.

Japanese video gaming became irrelevant /not/ too long ago. They've really lost their touch, and this just goes to show it even more.

Zappa859 said,

Yeah.

Japanese video gaming became irrelevant /not/ too long ago. They've really lost their touch, and this just goes to show it even more.

So because Microsoft fails to break an incredibly closed off country and it's Japans fault? OK.
Also, Japan still make great games. The west is catching up but there is still that "tacky" feel that comes with a lot of them. The line is blurring very fast, though.

techbeck said,
Japan...who cares. Small demographic.

127,560,000 is a small market? That is almost 1/2 when compared to the American population. Anyway, Sony has made more than $100.000.000 more than Microsoft in the Japanese market and that is from hardware sales alone so you must be able to understand why Microsoft is reluctant to abandon that market.

MindTrickz said,

127,560,000 is a small market? That is almost 1/2 when compared to the American population. Anyway, Sony has made more than $100.000.000 more than Microsoft in the Japanese market and that is from hardware sales alone so you must be able to understand why Microsoft is reluctant to abandon that market.

Please remember that just as much as we claim "buy American,' the Japanese will actually do that better than we do. Sony PS3 is Japanese. but Xbox has captured not only the American and Euopean maket but has captured everything else. So who gives a damn about the 128m population anyway!!!

MindTrickz said,

127,560,000 is a small market? That is almost 1/2 when compared to the American population. Anyway, Sony has made more than $100.000.000 more than Microsoft in the Japanese market and that is from hardware sales alone so you must be able to understand why Microsoft is reluctant to abandon that market.

Small demographic when it comes to the XBOX popularity, yes. Wont put a dent in MS' profits.

techbeck said,
Japan...who cares. Small demographic.

size doesn't matter anymore... some people just don't understand what they are talking about.... wont make a dent in Microsoft profit but will definitely make huge profit for PS3

PoohGQ said,

Please remember that just as much as we claim "buy American,' the Japanese will actually do that better than we do. Sony PS3 is Japanese. but Xbox has captured not only the American and Euopean maket but has captured everything else. So who gives a damn about the 128m population anyway!!!


like all american do that????? literally every product in america is made in china.....
I have never had any product that is made other than china.... almost....

still1 said,

size doesn't matter anymore... some people just don't understand what they are talking about.... wont make a dent in Microsoft profit but will definitely make huge profit for PS3

True, PS3 may be doing better...but that is good. MS cannot dominate everywhere and vise versa. No competition is not good for consumers.

still1 said,

like all american do that????? literally every product in america is made in china.....
I have never had any product that is made other than china.... almost....

A lot of Japanese and Sony's products are made in China too. My picture camera, video camera, and laptop are Sony and made in china. I have a few Japanese products that are also made in China. Its funny. Everything is made in china including food. Even fish caught off the Alaskan coast is processed and packaged in China.