Microsoft to try to revive Xbox 360 business in Japan again

While Microsoft has had a huge success with its Xbox game console business in North America and Europe, the video game stronghold of Japan has yet to embrace Microsoft's two game consoles, the Xbox and the Xbox 360. It hasn't been for lack of trying. Microsoft has spent a lot of money promoting the consoles in Japan and secured a number of Japanese developers to make exclusive games for the console. Yet for whatever reason the consoles sales are well below those of Sony's and Nintendo's rival products.

Now it looks like Microsoft is doing a bit of a restructuring of its Xbox business. According to Andriasang, Microsoft held a press event in Japan this week to talk about its future Xbox 360 plans. One is a shift in the division that actually handles the Xbox 360 business in that country. Previously the console business was part of the Home and Entertainment division. Now the Xbox 360 business is part of the newly formed Interactive Entertainment Business division in Japan. The Interactive Entertainment Business division will be lead by Takashi Sensui. He was previously the head of the Home and Entertainment division but this new shift means that he can concentrate solely on the Xbox 360 business.

In an interview with the Japanese news web site Impress Watch Sensui stated that Microsoft's Kinect motion controller camera for the Xbox 360 had not sold as well as expected in Japan. However he added that the Kinect will get a new promotional push later in 2011. That push will include releasing Kinect-based games with properties that will be familiar to Japanese gamers.

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Microsoft poured buckets, or more likely trucks, of money onto Japanese developers' to get exclusive RPGs which motivated me, and other fans, to shell out and buy the console to be able to play them.

Then they turned their backs on us. And most of the Japanese RPGs have been released on the PS3 ever since. Some Japanese developers are now developing for the Xbox, but not because they're expecting it to sell well in Japan, because they want to sell more copies in America, where they have a lot of fans.

And now, after neglecting fans of Japanese games for quite some time, they want to win their trust back again? Somehow I feel like Microsoft is toying with consumers. They pretty much neglected the hardcore market with no first-party titles at this year's E3 (no, Star Wars Kinect is not a hardcore title) and they did it with RPGs in the years between, with the only exception being Final Fantasy XIII. If I knew what I know today, I would not have purchased my 360, I feel cheated due to their lack of support for the genres they put on the market on their first years.

That's why I started by buying an xbox 360 but now I gave in and bought a PS3. The 360 is still in my entertainment center but it's not hooked up to my TV anymore