Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune explains why the Xbox 360 failed in Japan
King though the Xbox 360 may be among the current-gen consoles (arguably speaking) here in North America, the console has pretty much bombed in Japan. Since its 2005 launch in the country, the console has sold less than two million units, leading many retailers to stop selling it and its games. Hardly a surprise, since Microsoft has never achieved a strong Japanese presence with its consoles (check out this good-if-lengthy article about the first Xbox).
The whole situation was the subject of a conversation between IGN and Keiji Inafune, the creator of Mega Man and the upcoming PS Vita game Soul Sacrifice. “I love PlayStation, but I also enjoy Xbox and I think it’s not a bad console personally,” he said. “I understand Japanese users don’t prefer Xbox 360, but if I was asked why, I wouldn’t be able to put a finger on it.”
One possible reason that the Xbox 360 failed, Inafune pondered, was “because PlayStation is a domestic brand in Japan. As a Japanese [person], I think it’s only natural you feel closer or attached more to domestic products and I find myself being that way too. When you see two products with similar features and one is from your own country and the other is from foreign countries, it’s easy to pick the one from your own country.”
“From this perspective,” Inafune concluded, “Xbox is made by Microsoft in the US, so it’s not a domestic product. It’s only natural that you want to support your domestic products. If there were more Xbox-exclusive games out there, things may have been different, but usually a title is developed for multiple platforms so that’s not the case.”
With the Xbox situation in Japan being what it is, it raises questions about the possibility of the Xbox 360’s successor (currently known as Durango) being released in Japan. With both of its previous consoles flopping in the face of competition from Sony and Nintendo, will Microsoft even care to try a third time?
Speculate on the possibilities in the comment box below.
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
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