For three console generations, the Xbox failed to keep up with its competitors in Japan. Sony and Nintendo dominated the sales figures with their consoles and handhelds. They remain the standard gaming companies on their home turf. Meanwhile, the Xbox One continues to carry the brand name down as the worst selling of the bunch.
Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently gave his opinion on this while speaking with Famitsu. Spencer points towards the console’s lack of games that appeal to Japanese gamers. The PS4 continues to do well because Japanese gamers would rather play exclusives like Nioh and Persona 5 over the Western AAA games that are generally associated with the Xbox brand.
Spencer points out that Xbox tried to appeal to Japanese gamers with Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey. He promises more effort in the future, even if Japanese developers aren’t entirely on board with the Xbox One. He cites the release of the Xbox One S in Japan later this year as part of that effort. He also brings up Final Fantasy XV, ReCore, and Scalebound as games that Japanese players might like to try.
The Xbox will continue to struggle in Japan
Microsoft has always struggled to find a foothold in the Japanese market. While the Xbox One outsold the PS4 for the third month in a row, the Japanese audience still isn’t catching on. I don’t believe the Xbox One S will bring life to the console in the same way it did in North America, but stranger things have happened.