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Xbox Series had it's best selling week in Japan since launch last week.

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
https://www.gamereactor.eu/last-week-was-the-best-for-xbox-series-s-x-in-japan-since-launch-1185493/
The duo of consoles seem to have found a Japanese audience, something the console only ever had during an early year for Xbox 360.

As a comparison, Xbox One reached 114,000 consoles during it's entire lifetime in Japan, and Xbox Series S/X has passed 318,000 sold units after less than two years on the market. If it can keep the pace up, it will beat the original Xbox, which reached 473,000 sold units in Japan during it's lifetime, while there's still a way to go before it passes Xbox 360 which sold 1,616,000 units in the country.

But there are signs pointing towards that it might be possible. Instead of dropping sales, Xbox Series S/X seems to be increasing speed in Japan, and last week was the best ever for the format since the launch, according to the analyst John Welfare who tracks Japanese game sales. 16,726 Xbox was sold in Japan, which in all fairness is still less than PlayStation 5 with 25,109 sold units and the beastly Switch with 113,530 consoles.

Still, it seems like Xbox Series S/X might be on track to do something Xbox has never had before, develop a real Japanese audience. Something that surely will improve the range of Japanese games available for the format

To compare early performance with current performance

For Japan in the first 47 weeks
  • PS5: 1,085,018
  • XBS: 99,144

That's a gap around 10x as much.

For Japan in the last 47 weeks
  • PS5: 806,327
  • XBS: 219,128 3.7x

That gaps is just under 4 times as much. So the gap has shrunk over time as Xbox gained and Sony has declined mostly due to neglect of the Japanese market, but they also don't really have to since they have no competition and there's zero chance of Xbox catching up.

The Xbox Series is selling much better than anticipated, it wasn't that long ago it was common to hear people wondering why Microsoft would release there, or that they should not have released in Japan at all this gen, but they are likely to be well past the Original Xbox LTD and PCFX LTD by the end of the year at the current pace. Will it reach the 360? it's on the path to doing so, it will depend if Microsoft can get games over there that appeal to Japanese gamers tastes, at least enough to sell over 1 million consoles.

Of course, there is a key thing to note about these sales, I don't think that an Xbox Series game has actually charted on Japanese charts, while the worst selling Xbox One did have multiple games chart multiple weeks, although usually one game charted during those weeks only.

Xbox and Sony in Japan need to work on the software situation because they are being destroyed by the Switch, even with low sales of a couple thousand units. Sometimes the PS5 will be able to get a few to chart, but you'll also see PS4 games chart too, and many weeks the charts are dominated by the Switch in the top 10 or even 15. Maybe Xbox needs to get more Japanese games on Gamepass, and Sony needs to help fund some Jrpgs to take advantage of PS5 hardware.

Both consoles are still supply constrained in the country (even the Series S) but if the software isn't there, that demand will eventually drop once all the early adopters get their consoles.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
I've always found it surprising that all those exclusive NFL features on the Xbox One didn't resonate more with the Japanese market.

They didn't advertise that in Japan, they had some soap opera thing for Japanese TV's it was a long time ago. Xbox One has a lot of problems in japan, releasing their very late, rarely any deals unless it was done by a retailer clearing stock, lack of game marketing, best selling and most prominent game was Titanfall for years, lack of Jrpgs, large console until the Slim, Microsoft didn't put much effort into making deals with retailers limiting availability, online connectivity issues that made it hard to impossible to connect online in parts of the country making a new buyer purchase a brick. they were worse than Sony now.

But the fact that Xbox Series is beating that shouldn't be an accomplishment, it's that Series is about to pass the original Xbox which launched swinging, and in less than two years if trends hold.
 
My take: Both Microsoft and Sony first party games are western style which does not cater to Japanese audience, people certainly are not going to buy games at full price for something they are not familiar with, but the key difference is Game Pass, which gives them a way to tryout a variety of western third party triple A games they thought they might not be interested, Japanese are not known of having habit of playing games on PC either, I think that's the reason why Xbox sold better in Japan. Game Pass is a perfect service for trying new things out.

To illustrate my point further, imaging if you are a Japanese gamer that had no knowledge of most of western gaming brand and franchise, but you consider yourself an adventurous player that like to try new things, now in this case which one do you think is more attractive to you:
1. $50-$70 for a game that you have no prior knowledge, having no idea if you will actually like it or not
2. $10-$15 monthly subscription fee to try out hundreds of games with more new releases coming to the service every once a while
Yes, Playstation do have a subscription service too, I'm not blind, but the comparison between these 2 service I believe is already debated to death.

There are also other contributing factors, but Game Pass is definitely one of the important factor
 
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Doom85

Member
My take: Both Microsoft and Sony first party games are western style which does not cater to Japanese audience



For that last one, only 4 (nearly 5) PS4 games passed 500K sales in Japan. A lot of Japanese games don’t necessarily do that much more in sales in Japan more compared to Western games. There’s generally a gap but it’s hardly the massive one some people make it out to be.
 
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For that last one, only 4 (nearly 5) PS4 games passed 500K sales in Japan. A lot of Japanese games don’t necessarily do that much more in sales in Japan more compared to Western games. There’s generally a gap but it’s hardly the massive one some people make it out to be.
Most Japanese gamer plays Switch
 
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Perhaps, but take a popular Japanese title not available on Switch: Persona 5. Its sales were definitely ahead of many of the western games on PS4 but not by a massive amount.
What I mean is those who purchased Playstation in the first place are those player base that choose to try western games, and now this very player base further divided into Series X/S and PS5 which Series X slowly coming on top due to Game Pass being a good service for trying new things. The rest of the player base (which that are not interested on trying western games) still remain on Switch. That was my point all along

Especially consider the recent boycott in Japan for PS5 price increase, Series X/S will going to slowly gain more momentum, if Sony want to stay competitive in Japan, something need to be done, but consider their current focus, I doubt they care about Japan market. This is how free market works, if you don't care, somebody else will replace you.
 
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Banjo64

cumsessed
Good. The S in particular is a fantastic complimentary console to the Switch. Not sure what the appeal is to the Japanese population. Well actually I suppose Xbox made strides to get games like Octopath Traveler, Yakuza, Kingdom Hearts etc so yeah, makes sense.
 
This happened last gen too tho.
Yes but a subscription service need time to accumulate, Game Pass in this gen is more valuable compare to last gen
And don't forget, last gen Sony had more focus compare to this gen on Japanese style games

Both are contributing factors, not to mention recent boycott in Japan for PS5 price increase
 
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Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
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For that last one, only 4 (nearly 5) PS4 games passed 500K sales in Japan. A lot of Japanese games don’t necessarily do that much more in sales in Japan more compared to Western games. There’s generally a gap but it’s hardly the massive one some people make it out to be.

PS4 software sales in Japan nosedived in 2016 and got worse to where we are today with the PS5. So this list doesn't really say much.

Perhaps, but take a popular Japanese title not available on Switch: Persona 5. Its sales were definitely ahead of many of the western games on PS4 but not by a massive amount.

This is another example of not taking into consideration the collapse in high demand releases and software sales of the PS4. The only reason why western games pushed by Sony sold that well is because that was one of the main releases you could buy, and among the ones that were most marketed, which led to concerns about Japanese support by Playstation, which started in 2016, same year they released the Pro mainly for a western reason.
 

lh032

I cry about Xbox and hate PlayStation.
you know...i was thinking, isnt Japan population declining at the fastest rate?
i wonder how big is the impact on the gaming market in Japan in the future.
 

oldergamer

Gold Member
Its interesting as i wonder if the series s is catching on there. Its cheap, small and and has decent power. It can be turned into a dev kit box for 25 dollars. It could catch on via the downloadable games and get development support via a different path then they have traditionally sought after
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
you know...i was thinking, isnt Japan population declining at the fastest rate?
i wonder how big is the impact on the gaming market in Japan in the future.

Mobile is fine, console market has been shrinking since 360/ps3.

Its interesting as i wonder if the series s is catching on there.

Did you read the OP lol? These numbers are combined, S is slightly ahead of the X in Japan because it gets more stock produced, but they are both selling what they can put out, and are supply constrained. The opposite of the Xbox One.
 

lh032

I cry about Xbox and hate PlayStation.
Mobile is fine, console market has been shrinking since 360/ps3.
Mobile is fine for now.
If the older population is getting higher in Japan, things may change.
Older = retirement, spending income would be very limited to mobile gaming.
 
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pasterpl

Member
Good for Ms, but still long way for ms to even start catching up to Sony. Nintendo is in the class Od their own.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
Mobile is fine for now.
If the older population is getting higher in Japan, things may change.
Older = retirement, spending income would be very limited to mobile gaming.

Most mobile gaming is F2P. Of the Japanese kids below 18 and those below 50, they just don't play consoles anymore, they moved on to local handheld devices, phones, Switch, and some other domestic gadgets, sometimes they can hook up to a TV.

When the only player in the market that has wide relevance and developer support for home Consoles, Sony, is treating the country like an after-thought, since late PS3, it means the consumers have been using the other options for years and year now, consoles would need something big to turn them around, but I see nothing that's going to revitalize home consoles sales on the horizon.

Both are eating dust, and doubt MS is trying anything in Japan.

Edit: neither care

Xbox has tried harder in Japan this gen so far than most of the life of the Xbox One, yeah that's not a high bar but it explains why they are trending so well. Relative to other Xbox consoles.
 

Sosokrates

Report me if I continue to console war
I wonder how much they market the series S/X in Japan?

I dont know if Xbox studios games appeal to the Japanese. I would of though games like starfield and maybe fable, doom etc would do quite well there.
 
The OP forgetting how Sony couldn't produce nearly as many units as MS with its Series S for most of this year (so most of those 47 weeks) is...something.
Saying Sony is neglecting Japan as if Xbox is getting a lot of exclusive content there, lmao.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
The OP forgetting how Sony couldn't produce nearly as many units as MS with its Series S for most of this year (so most of those 47 weeks) is...something.
Saying Sony is neglecting Japan as if Xbox is getting a lot of exclusive content there, lmao.

This is Japan, the PS5 was outproducing the Series S 10:1 what are you talking about? Also the X and S are very close in Japan.

Unless you are talking about only those two weeks that the Xbox sold more than the PS5 due to stock issues which included both models, that was only two weeks. Maybe three don't remember.

Both the PS5 and Xbox Series consoles saw larger sales increase when more stock came in, the last 47 weeks has been PS5 dominated just like the first 47 weeks, the difference is Xbox didn't have much stock ready in the first 37 weeks, and who could blame then after the Xbox One/ they weren't expected to do this well.
 
This. PS5 is most American PlayStation has ever been.

Playstation was never really Japanese focused, even on PSX and PS2 a lot of their first part output were western games. They’ve always relied on 3rd party for japanese support.

Suckerpunch, Santa Monica, naughty dog, Bend, 989, evolution, Zipper, Guerilla Cambridge, Studio Liverpool, etc, etc. have pretty much been sonys first party staples since inception. Their most notable franchises on the original playstation were Twisted Metal, Wipeout, Spyro, and crash. Lol


Japan studio and anything polyphony produced outside of gran turismo have always been the quirky smaller japanese stuff, same as team asobi is today. People act as if SIE went from being Nintendo one generation to being Xbox the next. The confusion lies with Japanese games being a lot more popular back in the day and all the 3rd party publisher defaulting to sony so it always looked more Japan centric than it is now.

When you have Capcom, Squaresoft, Konami, Namco, etc. all putting their biggest games out for your system its gonna come off that way.
 
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So, what's the best way of buying both these consoles in Japan right now? Still those fucking lotteries or invitation bullshit? Can anyone guide please?
 

anthony2690

Gold Member
Wonder if series consoles will outsell the Xbox 360, that alone would be an achievement I could imagine microsoft would be really happy with.
 

Ozriel

Member
The OP forgetting how Sony couldn't produce nearly as many units as MS with its Series S for most of this year (so most of those 47 weeks) is...something.
Saying Sony is neglecting Japan as if Xbox is getting a lot of exclusive content there, lmao.

He’s clearly talking about hardware, not ‘exclusive content’. Sony has clearly prioritized sending their limited stock to Europe and the US. Smart business decision, mind you, but his point is valid.
 

Eddie-Griffin

Gold Member
So, what's the best way of buying both these consoles in Japan right now? Still those fucking lotteries or invitation bullshit? Can anyone guide please?

Local stores in rough areas outside the tourist spots and the busier shopping districts.

Or pressing F5 on a keyboard on local electronic sites which randomly decide when to add stock to their site, and it's always small amounts.
 
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