Looking at the year that the Xbox One has had, it’s probably a small understatement to call it ‘rocky.’ Catching flack right from its initial announcement when Microsoft described it as an ‘all in one entertainment system’ rather than a dedicated game box with attractive media features, the Xbox One has also lagged behind the PS4 in terms of sales.
It’s not just that announcement that has harmed its sales prospects though; during the console’s first few months on sale Microsoft decided to drop the Kinect peripheral after the Xbox One Kinect bundle was deemed too pricey by consumers, while they’ve also been criticized for the lack of IPs and exclusives.
The Xbox One’s recent release in over two dozen countries could have turned the console’s fortunes around then. However, as less than impressive sales figures from Japan roll in, Microsoft may have more of an uphill struggle on their hands than previously thought.
While Xbox sales have never been particularly strong in Japan – it is the home country of Nintendo and Sony after all – statistics gathered from Japanese company Media Create suggest that even with low expectations, the Xbox One still underperformed.
According to MediaCreate, Microsoft’s latest game box sold just 25,674 units in three days on sale.
Although those figures might be alarming on their own, when compared to the sales figures of other consoles they are even more of a concern. The Nintendo Wii U may often get called out as a weak performer but it sold 308,000 units in two days on sale in Japan, while the Xbox One’s closest rival, the PS4, sold 322,000 units when it launched last year.
Furthermore, the Xbox 360 sold 62,135 units in less than three days of its Japanese launch – something that fuelled Microsoft’s decision to launch the Xbox One in Japan despite the competition from Sony and Nintendo being particularly strong.
Microsoft may find some solace in the sales of the Xbox One’s console exclusives though, as Titanfall (8,961 units), Dead Rising 3 (7,786 units) and Forza Motorsport 5 (5,948 units) were the three biggest selling titles on the console, meaning that the Xbox One is being bought for its exclusives. Perhaps releasing more of them can help drive up sales?
And the Xbox One may need exclusives if it’s going to survive at all in Japan, considering Sony’s recently revealed deals. Batman: Arkham Knight will be a PS4 exclusive in the territory, as will the beta for Ubisoft’s driving MMO The Crew while Bungie’s chart-topping shooter Destiny will only be coming to PS3 and PS4 in Japan, skipping Xbox consoles altogether.
Those are some tough odds for Microsoft to beat, especially when Japan’s declining console market is also factored in. However, considering that they released the Xbox One in Japan at all – knowing that things were stacked against them – suggests Microsoft is somewhat devoted to making things work in the territory. It will be interesting to see just what their next move is.