Xbox One Continues to Sell Terribly in Japan

By | 1 year ago 

After the always-online debacle saw many Xbox faithful jump ship to Sony and the PlayStation 4, Microsoft basically lost this console generation’s sales competition right out of the gate. However, Xbox One has still sold pretty well in the US, all things considered, and they’ve achieved small victories here and there, such as Xbox One being the best-selling console during E3 2015 week, showing that consumers are impressed with games Microsoft is bringing exclusively to Xbox in the near future.

Microsoft has always found at least marginal success with the Xbox brand in North America, but they have failed to find even remotely close to the same audience overseas in Japan. The Land of the Rising Sun simply does not seem to care about Xbox, and it’s not for lack of trying.

Last generation, Microsoft enlisted famous Japanese game designer and the creator of Final Fantasy, Hironobu Sakaguchi, and his studio Mistwalker, to create JRPGs exclusively for Xbox 360, including Blue Dragon and the fantastic Lost Odyssey, but the 360 still sold poorly in Japan. Microsoft hasn’t tried quite as hard this gen, and as one could expect, they’re still selling horribly.

Unlike North America, which has its sales numbers released typically on a monthly basis, Japan has its sales numbers released every week. They hit a record low when the Xbox One sold a pathetic 100 units in the week of June 8th to 14th of this year, a sharp decrease from when the Xbox One launched in Japan to the tune of 25,674 consoles sold, which was still pretty bad, all things considered. Now last week’s hardware sales in Japan are available.

The full console hardware sales for Japan last week can be found right here:

  • PlayStation 4 – 24,266
  • New 3DS XL – 19,432
  • PlayStation Vita – 13,190
  • Wii U – 11,028
  • New 3DS – 5,437
  • PlayStation 3 – 1,376
  • 3DS – 1,376
  • 3DS XL – 726
  • PlayStation Vita TV – 618
  • Xbox One – 242
Scalebound Xbox One

Scalebound is one of the few Xbox One exclusives aimed at a Japanese audience

Xbox One was the worst-selling console in Japan last week, putting out a measly 242 units. It was outsold by hardware like the PS Vita, which, by comparison, has performed very poorly outside of Japan. So, why is the Xbox One selling so poorly in Japan?

Mainly, Japanese consumers are typically very loyal to Japanese brands, which makes it a very tough market to crack. Microsoft realized this before releasing Xbox One in Japan, and they are disappointed in their Japanese performance, but as last generation showed, even acquiring major JRPG exclusives won’t convince Japan at large to rush out and buy an Xbox One.

That being said, Xbox One gives the Japanese audience even less of a reason to own it than the Xbox 360 did by not having these games. Furthermore, the controversy surrounding the always-online status of the original Xbox One pitch did not sit well with consumers all over the world, including Japan, and that is reflected in the Xbox One’s sales everywhere. While they may manage to pick up some slight victories here and there against the PS4 sales-wise, most of the time the best-selling console of each month is indeed the PS4, as was the case in June.

What would it take for the Xbox One to bounce back in Japan? Do you think Microsoft can close the sales gap between the Xbox One and the PS4 by the time this gen comes to a close? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Game Informer