One of the biggest gags of the previous generation was “Xbox in Japan.” I remember stories of Xbox One S units moving solely because they were advertised as cheap Blu Ray players. But as the Xbox One transitioned to the Series S|X, Microsoft’s gaming wing has been trying to change that narrative. And it appears to be working.
A report on Video Games Chronicle noted that the Xbox Series S and X, technically the same platform, has cleared the 100,000 units sold mark. This comes roughly a year into the platform’s life. On the other hand, the Xbox One’s lifetime sales in Japan only hit the 100,000 area over four years. That’s a huge difference!
And we can see why it’s working out that way. Console gaming as a whole has historically struggled in Japan, but even so the PS5 and Switch have hit more expected numbers. The Xbox still lags behind, but to a much smaller extent than before. In the time between the two generations, especially as Phil Spencer became the head of the Xbox business, Microsoft has supported Japanese games and developers much more loudly.
This year, Microsoft launched Game Pass in Japan, and immediately dropped games from Bandai Namco and Spike Chunsoft on the service. Tales of Arise was an E3 showcase game for Xbox, and Spencer himself has spoken of acquiring a Japanese development studio. It’s small progress in that market, but notable.
Do you think Xbox could see a renewed presence in Japan in the long term? What do you think needs to happen to keep the momentum up? Let us know what you think in the comments below, on Facebook or on Twitter!