Xbox Kinect sales lower than expected in Japan

Japan has always been a tough nut to crack in terms of Microsoft's Xbox console business. Sales of both the original Xbox and the next generation Xbox 360 have always been on the low end of console sales in that game hungry country, yet Microsoft continues to try to get mainstream gamers to buy the console and its games. Now it looks like those poor sales have extended to Microsoft's Kinect motion controller camera for the Xbox 360.

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports that Takashi Sensui, the head of Microsoft's Xbox 360 business in Japan, admitted, "To be honest, Kinect's sales haven't met our initial expectations in Japan, but we have received good reviews from people who have used it." Microsoft has said it has sold 10 million of its Kinect controllers worldwide so far, but the company hasn't provided any details on sales per territory.

Sensui hopes that a series of upcoming Kinect-based Xbox 360 console games, including dance and sports themed games, will expand the market beyond its current and very small audience of "core gamers." He said, "We need to reach out to a wider range of people."

Sensui also repeated what Microsoft said earlier this week about Xbox Live support in Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system. He said, "People will be able to choose the best device depending on the games they are playing and their surroundings, be it at home or outside." He added, "This won't diminish the importance of the Xbox 360 as a dedicated game console."

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