Why Xbox Failed In Japan

  • Published: 08 October 2019
  • Microsoft's Xbox consoles have become a global hit. But there's one market where they don't work — Japan. Of the 46.9 million Xbox Ones sold worldwide through the second quarter of 2019, just 0.3% of them have been in Japan, according to IDC. Meanwhile, Japanese companies Sony and Nintendo are popular with consumers.

    When Microsoft announced it was developing a video game console, the industry was skeptical. In the ’90s, Microsoft was known for its software, not its hardware business.

    Almost two decades later, Microsoft’s Xbox has become a popular console, holding its own against Sony and Nintendo.

    But there’s one market where the Xbox hasn’t been a hit with consumers — Japan.

    When Microsoft released the Xbox in 2001 in the United States, Japan was the gaming juggernaut of the world. It was home to the three big console makers, Nintendo, Sega and Sony, and had the best developers.

    Microsoft faced three big challenges launching the Xbox in Japan. It had to convince Japanese developers to make games for Xbox, overcome consumers’ skepticism about the first edition’s bulky design, and make up for lost sales from launching after the holiday period.

    Today, Microsoft still struggles to sell consoles in Japan. Of the 46.9 million Xbox Ones sold worldwide through the second quarter of 2019, just 0.3% of them have been in Japan, according to the International Data Corporation.

    While Japan is a big market for video games, Dean Takahashi, the lead writer for GamesBeat at VentureBeat, said Microsoft doesn’t rely on Japanese consumers.

    “Japan is still down, but they don’t actually need it to make billions of dollars,” Takahashi said.

    In a statement to CNBC, Microsoft said Japan is an important part of its global gaming community.

    “We’re committed to bringing innovative and homegrown content from Japan’s leading game creators to a global audience,” said Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s executive vice president of gaming, in a statement.

    While Japanese consumers prefer Sony’s PlayStation or Nintendo’s Switch, Microsoft’s relationship with its Japanese competitors is changing. Watch this video to learn more about how Microsoft is working with Sony on the future of video gaming.

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    Why The Xbox Failed In Japan

Comments • 3 491

  • mosthatedgaming
    mosthatedgaming  4 minutes back

    Xbox’s golden era was only the 360, Xbox 1 continues to fail their customers when it comes to exclusive titles. PS4 won this battle. We’ll see what happens with the PS5 and Xbox 2. Nintendo will always be in the middle. I love my Switch and PS4.

    • Naruto Uzumaki
      Naruto Uzumaki  11 minutes back

      Because Microsoft is a corrupt company who is putting a man in prison for selling free software

      • JTD98 4theGamers
        JTD98 4theGamers  37 minutes back

        The number of Xbox sold is less than that it’s closer to 40 million

        • Andrei Aeam
          Andrei Aeam  37 minutes back


          • Optimum Energy
            Optimum Energy  40 minutes back

            Because Playstation is better. Especially in its origin country. I like ps.

            • Acuatic Galaxy
              Acuatic Galaxy  45 minutes back

              Cause Nintendo and PlayStation are japanese and Xbox is American, end of the discussion.

              (and ps4 is better lol)

              • Jesus Christ Is salvation
                Jesus Christ Is salvation  51 minutes back

                I simply like Microsoft because it’s American
                Same way I don’t like European car only American

                • Vinayak soni
                  Vinayak soni  58 minutes back

                  Moreover , Nintendo too

                  • Vinayak soni
                    Vinayak soni  59 minutes back

                    Because they have playstation

                    • jblyon2
                      jblyon2  1 hours back

                      That original Xbox controller was trash

                      • ORYX X
                        ORYX X  1 hours back

                        Japan is loyal to their own.

                        • Whatareyoudoingyouidiot

                          Xbox failed in Japan because the Japanese people are, by and large, very nationalistic and xenophobic, and have been for centuries.

                        • Aaron Villa
                          Aaron Villa  1 hours back

                          The fact that I see the words east and west being used says everything I need to know get out of the dark ages people

                          • Billy Badass
                            Billy Badass  2 hours back

                            Why would Japanese gamers buy a machine with very little japanese content on it? It's not even our(American gamers) first choice.

                            • CopyMirror
                              CopyMirror  2 hours back

                              okay I'm gonna be honest... the Xbox tbh sucks it has less game choises and for someone who likes fighting games like me the D-pad is in a really weird position where you have to stretch your finger

                              • ELSALVADOR
                                ELSALVADOR  2 hours back

                                I was going to buy an xbox one for the kids to play fornite yet you have to pay Microsoft online to play reason I got a Nintendo switch, reason xbox one x is number third Nintendo switch number 1 and ps4 number 2

                                • Александър/Alex. Дaлчев/Dalcheff

                                  Actually there are many countries where Xbox sux ass....im from eastern Europe and here in my country PlayStation is the KING !!! I own all generations PS and love the consoles greatly.

                                • Jesus Christ
                                  Jesus Christ  3 hours back

                                  Literally the only thing I enjoy more about Xbox is the buttons on the controllers. (How smooth they are/ how well they move)

                                  • UnKnownSem Gaming
                                    UnKnownSem Gaming  3 hours back

                                    Xbox failed almost entire Asia. Lol

                                    • Nick Kiriakakis
                                      Nick Kiriakakis  4 hours back

                                      xbox failed clobally

                                      • 1234
                                        1234  4 hours back

                                        Japan is nationalist they support their own.

                                        • Richo-senpai
                                          Richo-senpai  4 hours back

                                          *WHY XBOX FAILED IN JAPAN?"
                                          If PlayStation and Nintendo was considered massively success in other countries compare to XBOX, what do you think the result of the XBOX when it's about to invading the homeland where PlayStation and Nintedo were coming from?

                                          • Pillow Man
                                            Pillow Man  5 hours back

                                            Short answer: sega, sony, and Nintendo

                                            • Pillow Man
                                              Pillow Man  5 hours back

                                              Short answer: PlayStation and Nintendo

                                              • Not U
                                                Not U  5 hours back

                                                No it’s because PlayStation is much more better than Xbox.

                                                • T SERIES SUCKS
                                                  T SERIES SUCKS  5 hours back

                                                  If u give me an option to choose between Xbox one and PS2 i would probably choose PS2.

                                                  • GGaming 360
                                                    GGaming 360  6 hours back

                                                    pfffffftttt amateurs buy the Soulja boy gaming console

                                                    • paul productions
                                                      paul productions  6 hours back

                                                      One thing is certain, console gaming is more comfortable, controller and sofa win over gaming keyboards and gaming chairs.

                                                      • Radix Lecti
                                                        Radix Lecti  6 hours back

                                                        "The launch of the Xbox One in 2013 was a huge success for Microsoft"... Um, no, no it wasn't...

                                                        • Lxcz
                                                          Lxcz  7 hours back

                                                          Because Sony and Nintendo are Japanese duh

                                                          • ATH3X G
                                                            ATH3X G  8 hours back

                                                            Because they have Nintendo and Playstation, why would you buy something that's worse.

                                                            • Wallet
                                                              Wallet  8 hours back

                                                              Xbox : Its over.......

                                                              ???: Say sike right now

                                                              Xbox : uhh -looks behind-

                                                              Indie games:
                                                              Gears 5:

                                                              Playstation : we have minecraft!

                                                              Bedrock edition: Wait do you..?

                                                              Edit: I can add more and finish this war

                                                              • GamingWithNael ヅ
                                                                GamingWithNael ヅ  8 hours back

                                                                Easy, because Playstation has more anime games.

                                                                • Benji Winger
                                                                  Benji Winger  8 hours back

                                                                  Ps is better.

                                                                  • El Chancho
                                                                    El Chancho  9 hours back

                                                                    I live in America and support Xbox
                                                                    America’s console 😂

                                                                    • SoCrazyItsTrue
                                                                      SoCrazyItsTrue  11 hours back

                                                                      The Japanese only have so much money... after buying nintendo games and sony games would you buy xbox games? Lol.

                                                                      • Remo
                                                                        Remo  11 hours back

                                                                        Because they know Sony is beter

                                                                        • 3
                                                                          3  12 hours back

                                                                          The Microsoft wanting to put in a software thing also got rejected by Sega

                                                                          • Jonathan Libaton
                                                                            Jonathan Libaton  12 hours back

                                                                            Sony playstation and nintendo switch is from japan why are you questioning why don't liked Xbox,,,,,,,,for me playstation is even better than Xbox,,,,,,

                                                                            • ender iman malaysia
                                                                              ender iman malaysia  13 hours back

                                                                              Japan:we like ps4

                                                                              • Trevor Searle
                                                                                Trevor Searle  14 hours back

                                                                                Easy cuz xbox is trash

                                                                                • Zaid Kidwai
                                                                                  Zaid Kidwai  14 hours back

                                                                                  play station nation gang gang

                                                                                  • Sonic
                                                                                    Sonic  15 hours back

                                                                                    The Red Ring issue is a justifiable reason for Japan to avoid the Xbox 360

                                                                                    • Ryan Vaughn
                                                                                      Ryan Vaughn  15 hours back

                                                                                      is it ok if i have both a PS4 and a Xbox one?

                                                                                      • kevin ragsdale
                                                                                        kevin ragsdale  15 hours back

                                                                                        I am a sony fanboy, I had a xbone, but sold it.

                                                                                        • Captn3m0x
                                                                                          Captn3m0x  15 hours back

                                                                                          I missed ps2 xD

                                                                                          • Da Gamer
                                                                                            Da Gamer  15 hours back

                                                                                            This is why I have a gaming PC than consoles

                                                                                            • ҉K҉N҉I҉G҉H҉T҉F҉I҉R҉E҉6҉6҉

                                                                                              I cant wait to get cloud based gaming