Microsoft has been trying to infiltrate the Japanese gaming market for some time and made an ambitious push with the Xbox One to attract a new audience. However, since the start of this endeavour, console sales figures can only be described as abysmal and even resulted in Xbox Japan’s CEO, Takashi Sensui’s resignation. The figures released for last week by Media Create are embarrassing and illustrates why Microsoft has almost given up on appealing to Japanese gamers.
In the period between January 11th to 17th, Microsoft only sold a measly 99 units! This is the first instance of the company’s sales slipping into double digits. To put these numbers into some context, the PlayStation 4 sold 25,292 units in the same period, and the Wii U managed 15,398 sales. This is astonishing when you consider the Wii U’s worldwide performance is terrible and there’s a huge amount of speculation regarding Nintendo’s upcoming NX console.
Here we can see the top 8 system sales in full:
1. New Nintendo 3DS XL: 30,172 units
2. PlayStation 4: 25,592
3. PlayStation Vita: 18,202
4. Wii U: 15,398
5. New Nintendo 3DS: 6,241
6. Nintendo 3DS: 4,797
7. PlayStation 3: 1,939
8. Nintendo 3DS XL: 1,162
Notice how even the PlayStation 3 is outselling Microsoft’s latest console by a significant margin. Furthermore, the rise of mobile gaming in Japan cannot be underestimated as portable puzzle games prove to be a very popular pastime. It seems Microsoft is realizing the scale of their problem and major difficulties in trying to encourage Japanese citizens to move away from long-standing Japanese brands. Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything Microsoft can do to change their reputation, and they’ve probably already given up on the Japan project. This is a shame, because it’s always beneficial for the consumer to have more choice and experience different games. Personally, I often feel Microsoft focuses too much on certain territories and needs to appeal more to smaller markets.
Image courtesy of JapanTimes.