Forums - Microsoft Discussion - Why Xbox failed in Japan: The inside story on Microsoft's greatest ever challenge

Saw this over on NeoGaf

"So popular was the first PlayStation that Sony enjoyed a vice-like grip over the hearts and minds of Japanese publishers. They were afraid to alienate Sony by supporting Microsoft. In some cases, they were even afraid to be seen to support Microsoft."

" 'I remember going to a Sony party at E3,” Bachus says. “They had every one of the major Japanese game publishers who we'd spent a lot of time with in Japan. I ran into one of these guys, who was standing with Ken Kutaragi. At first he was like, 'hey!' and his face lit up. And then he realised he was standing next to Kutaragi. 'Oh, oh, I'm sorry, do I know you?' He pretended he didn't because he didn't want to alienate Sony.' "

"We were told we couldn't call it the Xbox because X is the letter of death,” Fries remembers. “We were told we couldn't make it black because black is the colour of death. I was like, isn't the PlayStation black? Rules that apply to you as an outsider don't necessarily apply to insider products.”

"Fries was told he couldn't release Halo the way it was in Japan because Japanese players wouldn't be able to deal with the dual sticks. 'So we ended up having to make a bunch of modifications for Japanese players and dumb the game down, make an easier version.' "

"The Xbox was a beast of a games console, heavy, bulky and devoid of subtlety. It was made out of inexpensive black plastic with a controller seemingly made for hands the size of those pointing finger gloves you see at baseball games. It was everything the Japanese thought an American-made games console would be. “We thought it would be more like what PlayStation 3 looks like now, something sleek and sexy,” Bachus says. “For a number of reasons, mostly related to cost, but also partly related to thermodynamics of engineering the box - air flow and the size of components - we just weren't able to do that. The Japanese looked at that and it reinforced the notion this didn't have a Japanese aesthetic. This was a console that was for western gamers and was being made available in Japan.' "

"Microsoft had heard from publishers that Sony struck different loyalty rates with different publishers. Microsoft wanted to create a level playing field where all publishers paid the same royalty fee, but this rubbed some Japanese the wrong way. “They thought we'd buy their loyalty,” Bachus says."

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-12-13-why-xbox-failed-in-japan

 



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Interesting read. I always find this type of insight into different business cultural's to be fascinating.

Maybe if MS makes a sleek, trendy looking console with their next Xbox and continues to sweet talk the Japanese developers they will continue to do better next generation.



The last paragraph is so funny. Sony treating some publishers better than others is A-OK but equal treatment for all is "buying loyalty". That's so backwards that it makes 100% sense considering it comes from japanese people. They are just queer as fuck. Having said that, it's good that MS can't get a foothold in japan.

-moderated by amp316



Ongoing bet with think-man: He wins if MH4 releases in any shape or form on PSV in 2013, I win if it doesn't.

No surprises.

Japan is widely regarded as an insular and protectionist society for a very good reason. It is.

I'm not really here!

televandalist Animated Gif on Giphy

Link: Shipment History Since 1995

Well I think the next Xbox will do better than 360 did in Japan. 3 or 4 million sold hopefully.

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I think resident evil would have gone with nintendo anyway. Nintendo have always shown strong interest in that series and capcom have a very good relationship with them. If capcom had any type of interest putting resident evil on xbox they would have ported re4 when they moved it to ps2. So being in contract with nintendo is hardly why it took so long.

One more thing to complete my year = senran kagura localization =D

Seems like microsoft cant buy everyone then.

JP still makes no sense to me, I love the country, but that doesn't make them any less weird

007BondAgent said:
Seems like microsoft cant buy everyone then.

Microsoft had heard from publishers that Sony struck different loyalty rates with different publishers. Microsoft wanted to create a level playing field where all publishers paid the same royalty fee, but this rubbed some Japanese the wrong way. “They thought we'd buy their loyalty,” Bachus says."

That's what you got from this statement? o_0

 

Either way they most likely did end up buying loyalty for the 360 which I'm sure is a pretty significant reason as to why it did so well compared to the Xbox.



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yo_john117 said:
007BondAgent said:
Seems like microsoft cant buy everyone then.

Microsoft had heard from publishers that Sony struck different loyalty rates with different publishers. Microsoft wanted to create a level playing field where all publishers paid the same royalty fee, but this rubbed some Japanese the wrong way. “They thought we'd buy their loyalty,” Bachus says."

That's what you got from this statement? o_0

 

Either way they most likely did end up buying loyalty for the 360 which I'm sure is a pretty significant reason as to why it did so well compared to the Xbox.

It's obvious microsoft had to buy it's way into this gen, it's the only reason why they are here right now

They had to buy gta away from sony, they had to buy japanese support, and most likely more.

 

it's a smart move though.