IMO the negative perception of the 360 wasn't that it was a me too console. The problem was that to an average Japanese gamer, MS strolled in with a too big controller, and said you will buy this even though we have no games that suit your tastes. Oh, you like JRPGs? Solved *throws money at the floor in front of foreign developers*. You like other types of games? You Japanese are never satisfied.
That's what the perception of xbox is. The people who buy xbox over there, are the ones that like american games. Sony treats Japan like it treats america and europe. It makes games tailored to all three areas, and makes sure they concentrate on all of them. MS is just an American focused game developer who buys off what they think is popular. Buying exclusivity only further creates negative view as gamers say, "oh thanks MS for stealing games".
All they need to do is create a Japanese studio, focus on making Japanese games, secure multiplats on most japanese games, offer a slightly smaller rechargeable controller.
Xbox would be a "me too" console if they could secure multiplats, but they've chosen not to do that. They'd rather buy a couple exclusives and leave the rest to luck. McDonalds changed their entire recipe line aside from the BigMac. They're successful in Japan. They changed how the customer is serviced, they changed the menu, they changed the style of the place. It's still extremely McDonald's, but just tailored properly. They didn't go in with all their American menu, then buy off Asahi to be McD exclusive, and have the same upfront direct service.
But does PS3 have these exclusive Japanese games? To my knowledge, Sony doesn't really have any notable Japanese 1st party stuff.