Report: Xbox 360 sells just under 1.5 million total units in Japan

While Microsoft touted the sales success of its Xbox 360 game console last week at E3 2011, one territory where the console has never sold well is Japan where Sony and Nintendo still rule. Now a new report claims that Microsoft has sold just under 1.5 million Xbox 360 units in Japan since launching in that country back in 2005.

According to V247.com, the Xbox 360 console has sold a total of 1,477,629 units in Japan in its lifetime so far. That's based on Japan's Media Create figures. The Xbox 360 console reached the 1 million unit sales numbers in Japan back in 2009. This is of course nothing new for Microsoft. The original Xbox also sold poorly in Japan despite a big push by the company to have Japanese developers and publishers create exclusive games for the console.

Last week at E3 2011, Microsoft bragged about the sales success of the Xbox 360 console nearly six years after its launch. It stated that 55 million units of the console have been sold worldwide since its launch in the fall of 2005. It also talked about sales data from the NPD Group that showed that sales of the Xbox 360 are still growing six years after its introduction. Traditionally sales growth either levels off or starts to go down for other previously released consoles during that time period. While sales in Japan have been poor Microsoft has said that the Xbox 360 console has been the best selling game console for the past year in the US.

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Forgive me if I missed something here, but let me get this straight.... The Xbox 360 still outsells the PS3 month on month worldwide despite being a year older, and despite essentially not having the Japanese market? Bravo!

I think a part of it is nationalism, even if it's subconscious. Americans want to buy American products, so they buy XBox 360s, even if most of the same games are available on other consoles. The same could probably be said of the Japanese and Playstation/Nintendo, it's a homegrown product, so they feel more inclined to purchase it.

CoMMo said,
I think a part of it is nationalism, even if it's subconscious. Americans want to buy American products, so they buy XBox 360s, even if most of the same games are available on other consoles. The same could probably be said of the Japanese and Playstation/Nintendo, it's a homegrown product, so they feel more inclined to purchase it.

Sure, and I agree to an extent but while this number to date doesn't seem that great it's more than the original Xbox by a long shot. So in the end, with time and maybe some more Japanese oriented 3rd party exlusives, no more RRoD, they'll crack that market in time. The Japanese will buy it if it's good, I mean, not that they're good or anything but they're buying iPhones and iPods etc.

They should make a new brand name just for Japan. Something which will have more appeal to them than 'Xbox'. But the same hardware ofcourse.

FMH said,
They should make a new brand name just for Japan. Something which will have more appeal to them than 'Xbox'. But the same hardware ofcourse.

Im curious to what name that might be lmfao...Probobly something really fruity like Hello kitty

At the rate the Japanase video game market is going, it won't even matter next generation. Portable gaming will be the only game option. that said, it would be nice if MS considered developing a dedicated portable gaming system.

So the 360 still hasn't got it all worked out in Japan? Sad, they were saying the same thing a few years ago, back when the Wii was doing good...

MASTER260 said,
So the 360 still hasn't got it all worked out in Japan? Sad, they were saying the same thing a few years ago, back when the Wii was doing good...

I suspect its something a bit more than the 360 being bad...
Id say it has something to do with the Japanese people themselves and their nationalistic views... I bet if their seen with a 360 their arms get chopped off with a samurai sword.

No... That is good enough. It is impossible to beat Sony or Nintendo there. Of course, japanese people support their products. The urge to buy domestic product is in their blood for such a long time.

Going by your theory, the Sony Walkman should dominate the iPod.

Japanese gaming has gone downhill. Even for Nintendo and Sony consoles. Mobile gaming is the dominant force in Japan. Game development has been overtaken by Western devs while Japanese influence has lessoned. Most games haven't moved on from their heyday and consumers are looking elsewhere. Still some gems to be had but I think Japan is stuck with one foot in the past and transitioning the other foot to the future and what you get is very hit and miss at the moment.

Microsoft doing so well with shocking sales in Japan shows how insignificant they have become.

They really tried when the 360 came out to put out a lot of Japan centric games but Japan did not take to them and are not buying it. MS should really just not bother with Japan as they won't seem to buy an american console no matter what they do.

Oddly, when not playing in arcades, the best Japanese Street Fighter players prefer the Xbox to the PS3. Random little factoid there.

Microsoft and Xbox don't have the types of games Japanese want. The 360 caters much more to the western audience. I highly doubt they will ever beat out Sony and Nintendo in their homelands.

Ruran said,
Microsoft and Xbox don't have the types of games Japanese want. The 360 caters much more to the western audience. I highly doubt they will ever beat out Sony and Nintendo in their homelands.

With the Japanese market just being one of the smaller pieces of the global market they don't have to.

GP007 said,

With the Japanese market just being one of the smaller pieces of the global market they don't have to.

Yeah, I don't think they honestly try. They know everyone there is buying either PS3 or Nintendo. Just goes to show when Xbox 360 leads PS3 in sales, they are doing it entirely without that market.

AJerman said,

Yeah, I don't think they honestly try. They know everyone there is buying either PS3 or Nintendo. Just goes to show when Xbox 360 leads PS3 in sales, they are doing it entirely without that market.

They try as far as XBLA goes, lots and lots of side-scrolling shooters that the Japanese do love. You know, with cute anime girls and all that. You'll find quite a number have been made.

AJerman said,
Just goes to show when Xbox 360 leads PS3 in sales, they are doing it entirely without that market.

That's not something special to brag about.

GP007 said,
With the Japanese market just being one of the smaller pieces of the global market they don't have to.
I have always read that Japanese people are very nationalistic (not to be taken as a negative), and that is one of the major reasons that most only buy the Xbox 360 as secondary or third console, if at all.

It will be interesting to see if they fair better or worse in the next generation once they put a higher data capacity for their games (a must), and depending on how Sony responds. Nintendo has already shown that they are going to take the Wii approach again--graphics that are a generation behind with the spin being a screen on the controller this time. I'm not quite sure that they will be as successful as the Wii was with this iteration. Though I imagine a bunch of Japanese-focused games with the peculiarities focused upon will help them (I'm sure a lot of the games that Americans find weird will lend themselves to having that small screen) in Japan, but not so sure about the US.

Ruran said,
Microsoft and Xbox don't have the types of games Japanese want. The 360 caters much more to the western audience. I highly doubt they will ever beat out Sony and Nintendo in their homelands.

This isn't about the console, but where it comes from. There are markets that the product is catered to their interests and also cultural and regional pride is important.

I don't think Microsoft had any real illusions about winning over these markets as well.