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XBox (Games)

360 Launches In Japan 81

Gamespot reports that the 360 sold out ... at the Shibuya 'official' launch location. Sales from the rest of the country still have to come in, but given launch day experiences, I imagine the customer reaction wasn't as fierce as it was here. From the Kotaku on-hand piece: "A customer! I see a customer! It's a few minutes after seven, and somebody else has come to wait for the Xbox. I feel like a sailor who's been lost at sea and finally spots land. He stands in front of Sofmap for a moment, awkwardly, and he looks around. Nobody but him and me and the vending machine. I make a quick inventory: tall, painfully thin, wearing a brown coat, black and grey backpack, looks like Ichabod Crane."
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360 Launches In Japan

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  • Normally isn't it Japan who gets all the video game-related tech first? Is it different because Microsoft is primarily a U.S. company?
    • Japan got the Nintendo DS second, and also Nintendo Wifi network after the American and European release. I am now wondering if Nintendo will release the Revolution in the US first as well.
  • That picture he takes makes the area look pretty empty. I would actually be scared of another person being around while getting something that expensive from a vending machine. It doesn't take long to hold a knife on someone and grab it. Guess Japan is not like NYC.
    • Japan has very low crime rates and high "solution" rates (almost all cases are solved though there are claims that policemen just arrest someone at random if they can't find the criminal).
    • by badasscat ( 563442 ) <basscadet75@yah o o .com> on Saturday December 10, 2005 @05:36PM (#14230025)
      That picture he takes makes the area look pretty empty. I would actually be scared of another person being around while getting something that expensive from a vending machine.

      Er, well for one, I hope you're not under the impression he was going to buy an Xbox 360 from a vending machine. The vending machine was incidental to the story. The guy was standing outside of Softmap, a computer/electronics store. There happened to be a vending machine there.

      Guess Japan is not like NYC.

      Not withstanding my comments above, though, people do buy expensive things from vending machines there - just not as part of this story.

      No, Japan is not like NYC. There's crime - more than there used to be - but cops don't even carry guns there. You can walk down the street late at night without worrying about it. You can buy iPods out of isolated vending machines like this and provided you're not some little kid lost in a sea of high school bullies, you don't really have anything to be concerned about.

      But this story is about a guy waiting outside of a store looking for customers... he just has a drink vending machine near him.

      To get a little bit back on topic, Gamespot today has a glowing report of the sell-out in Shibuya. But honestly, this is one of MS's problems - and it's a problem western sites like Gamespot are all too eager to buy into. That is, Japan is more than Shibuya and Akihabara. Honestly. Yes, these are trendsetting areas for youngsters and tech retail, but it's like having a big launch event in Times Square in NYC and then ignoring the rest of the country and expecting anything to happen. It's just meaningless in the grand scheme of things; most of Japan - and in fact most of Tokyo - pays no attention at all to what goes on in Shibuya. MS wouldn't do that in the US - they have events all over the country, and they sponsor all sorts of things to keep the system in the public eye - but I haven't seen any reports of MS doing this in Japan. I have talked to people who live there who have said all they've seen on TV lately are PS2 and DS commercials, with maybe one or two Xbox 360 commercials really late at night.

      It all just gets back to what I still think is a very basic misunderstanding of the Japanese market. Not everybody in Japan is the same and not everybody in Japan buys things just because people in Shibuya or Akihabara buy them. MS is making a huge push to attract a very specific type of customer in one tiny little geographic area in one city in Japan, but that is not going to get them anywhere nationwide.
      • Cops don't carry guns here? Not sure where you got that idea. All police on the street here carry guns, and have done so for quite some time.

        Sigh. Another uninformed post, assuming that the English language news knows all there is to know about Xbox marketing in Japan.

        Its pretty clear that MS was not pushing in just 'one tiny little geographic area' - while they had to do the main launch in one location, Tokyo (for obvious reasons - no matter what you think, people here *do* pay attention to what happens in
      • cops don't even carry guns there

        The Japanese cops around here (near Tokyo) do. Well I can't say they all do, but some of them do (on the odd occasion I've happened to walk behind a cop, I've sometimes noticed "hey, he has a gun!").

        You're quite right though, it's very very safe, and probably even safer if you're a foreigner ('cause there's that tiny bit of uncertainty that makes a thief look for an easier target). One of the things that I absolutely love about Tokyo is the ability to wander around complete
        • The mind boggles at the concept of something too 'dorky' for Japan. As a country, they embody the term.

          Probably get slain by Japanese fanboys now, and other various apologists. Oh well.
        • Not only you can walk around at 3am and not beeing afraid of beeing mugged/stabbed/robbed. You can also carry expensive SLRs with you, without beeing afraid somebody might stab you to get it.

          But then again, if you are an foreigner, there are 20 cops watching you anyway. At least foreigners always do something evil, so they have to be watched.
      • Mod parent up.

        I was in Ise last month and even though one of Japan's most famous shrines is there, you'd think there is no farther place in the world (or at least in Japan) from the fashionable districts in Tokyo. Slashdot's gaijin patrol thinks that Tokyo culture (especially Akihabara/Shibuya) is all over Japan, but it's not.

        And the parent is also right about Microsoft's push in the rest of Japan: they're doing nothing in Kansai for the Xbox360 that I know of. They're ignoring the entire country outside
      • Cops do carry guns, as others pointed out. Not a thing wrong with that either. The biggest crime you have to worry about is pickpockets, especially in Tokyo's crowded Shinjuku area. I have been targeted a few times even. One of those times, at 5am I was sitting against a store front resting off the night and saw a guy scanning the area out of the corner of my eye. When he spotted me he immediately moved towards me to stand near me. He clearly thought I was asleep or nearly so, perhaps drunk. I was neither
      • Since the X-Box announcement. I saw _ONE_ X-Box add in the Train. And not even in the more main line, but in the side line to my appartment. I haven't seen a big add in Shibuya Station, like normal Tech products do (mobile phones, iTunes/iPod, etc). and TV adds are anway outrun 50:1 in favour of the PS2. Actually 90% the game adds are PS2 & PSP. The rest is the rest. And I saw now 1 X-box only add and 2 Perfect Zero adds.

        Seriously, fact is, japanese nerds love role playing games, with perfect zero they
    • Guess Japan is not like NYC.

      Take it from somone who has lived in both places... After living in Tokyo for three years, New York City seems a little, well, provincial.
      • After living in Tokyo for three years, New York City seems a little, well, provincial.

        Very interesting. Care to elaborate? (I live in NYC). just curious - never been to japan...

        • After living in Tokyo for three years, New York City seems a little, well, provincial.

          Very interesting. Care to elaborate? (I live in NYC). just curious - never been to japan...

          Well, part of it is simply population. New York has somewhere between 10-20 million people, from what I last remember, while tokyo is closer to 50 million. Until you've seen Shibuya crossing at noon on a weekday, you simply don't understand the meaning of crowded. It's simply surreal. (Another good anecdote, When the apple store
  • There is only one way to win the average Japanese Gamer's heart and that is through an RPG. Sure, games like Dead or Alive 4 will have good sales and will motivate the average gamer to purchase a console, but it is through RPG's alone that console sales will flourish. Lacking a mascot flagship character is another fault since possibly the second biggest genre (adventure) is being represented only through Kameo. It seems to me that a company like Square-Enix will play a very large role in deciding the 360's
    • You are absolutely correct. Even at nearly 20% off the US release price, Japanese do not take up the Xbox 360 as fast as US. Their gamers simply do not care about the games on this console. If Microsoft wants to succeed in Japan, they NEED to OWN Square Enix and re-release the history of Final Fantasy enhanced for 360. And keep the rest of the games as an exclusive to Xbox 360. All the advertising and price drops in the world will not be as effective as a move like that.
    • Let's end this misnomer once and for all. Japanese so-called RPGs are nothing of the sort. As a genre, they should be called MIMs (Mildly Interactive Movies) because the role playing involved is as deep as every other character based game in history.
  • I doubt that the 360 will do much better than the original xbox in japan, because it seems to have the same problem as it's predecessor, which is to say that the box is about a quarter the size of the average living room in japan.
    In a country where melons are grown inside glass boxes so they are rectangular so they can more efficiently fit into the average apartment, and combining a TV with a fridge is a reasonable space-saving appliance, how can the large and unwieldy 360 appeal to consumers there?
    I don'
    • Re:Size? (Score:3, Funny)

      by Jarlsberg ( 643324 )
      Ok, but the Xbox360 is about the same size as the original PS2, and that one sold like crazy in Japan. The original Xbox, now that was an unwieldy beast, but the Xbox360 is very sleek and nowhere near as intrusive as the original Xbox.
  • by chrysrobyn ( 106763 ) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @08:48PM (#14230859)

    I was in Tokyo over Thanksgiving. I saw several 360 displays, all of them were completely empty. My daughter was frustrated that she couldn't play with the DS, but she had to console herself with playing with the vacant 360 display.

    I was in Toys R Us in Nagasaki yesterday and there were probably a half dozen of the empty boxes you take up to the register in order to get your gear.

    Nobody is talking about the 360 outside of a few neighborhoods in Tokyo -- and those seem to care only after 3pm until midnight (which gives us a clue about the very small demographic they have attracted).

  • The only selling poing for the Xbox 360: Christmas release date. Christmas: an uncelebrated holiday an Japan therefore rendering a Christmas release date irrelevant. In other words, if it wern't for Holiday melee and artificial shortages, would Xbox 360 be flying of the shelves with PS3 a couple of months away? The Japanese reaction proves that the answer is no. Plus the Japanese have the advantage of having proof that the Xbox 360 sucks with all the crashing that has been going on in US 'boxes All th
    • Are you kidding? I see just as many Christmas decorations here in Japan as I do in the U.S. It may not be celebrated as a religious holiday, but Santa is everywhere in Japan.

      You've obviously never been to Kobe Harbor, they have a huge Santa display near the port.
      • but its not a fake festival like in the rest of the world. Here its true christmas. About giving expensive presents to other people you don't care all year long.

        Long live christmas and funky one-melody-blinking-christmas trees in front of Convenience Stores somewhere in deepest japanese only neighbourhoods.

        Rock on japanese christmas!
    • Christmas: an uncelebrated holiday an Japan therefore rendering a Christmas release date irrelevant.

      While only about 0.7% of Japanese people (about one million) are Christians, Christmas is still a major commercial holiday, akin to Valentine's day in North America. Department stores and fast food chains are the two most visible players in the market, but virtually every company out there has a campaign of some sort going. The reason? There is serious money moving around, and every merchandiser wants

  • by dancingmad ( 128588 ) on Saturday December 10, 2005 @10:35PM (#14231277)
    Ah, we talk about the Japanese market, and Slashdot's Japan patrol comes out. Most of them haven't been to Japan and are talking about Japanese culture from what they've learned from TV, anime, and porn.

    Most Japanese love American stuff, especially in terms of creative stuff: books and music, for example (in fact a lot of my friends listen exclusively to English music, American and/or British). I was at Tsutaya last night and there were a ton of American/English books in Japanese. Da Vinchi Code, Harry Potter, and Memoirs of A Geisha come to mind.

    Having said that, the Xbox360's a failure here. No one cares that the machine is out. I didn't even know it was released (I knew it was soon, as I commented on a story before, but I didn't know the exact day). I'm outside Osaka, the second biggest city in Japan, and nothing is happening outside of Tokyo. It's nuts. Microsoft really doesn't care about getting the machine popular. Armchair American pundits say that its because the Japanese are racist against Americans. The truth is Microsoft is making zero effort to be popular in the U.S., and the normal xenophobic American response is to say its the Japanese fault.

    I was in Lawson's (a convince store) this morning and there were a couple of Xbox magazines out on the shelf. I picked one up and the only games in it were games that aren't out: DoA, Mist Walker's RPG, games Japanese people are interested in, but they are not even avaliable!

    And Christmas is celebrated here. Not only are there many Christians (one of my good friends is Japanese Christian, not to mention Koreans and other foreigners), but as a secular holiday, its huge. There are Christmas decorations everywhere (my favorite is the huge light up Santa near Kobe Harbor, but even in my little town there are decorations).
    • Not only are there many Christians (one of my good friends is Japanese Christian, not to mention Koreans and other foreigners)

      Er, well, where many == approx. 1% of population...

      [The few Japanese Christians I've known have been completely insane too; if they detected even the slightest hint that you might possibly not competely ignore them, they'd be camped out on your doorstep at 5am every morning for 6 months, just in case.... shudder.]
  • The ultimate reason to wait for the PS3 http://www.allhardporn.com/galleries/tgp_submits/0 43004/006.jpg [allhardporn.com] 3D Hentai games in 1080p - The real reason the Japanese are waiting for the PS3! (Hey it's mine)
  • For what it's worth I saw an actual Japanese person picking up a 360 at the same time I did - in Yokohama Yodobashi. There were stacks of them behind the counter... Oh - and to counter the "it's only being advertised in Shibuya" brigade - There've been plenty of adverts, the Japanese are far more aware of the 360 than they were the original XBox. It's just that none of the launch games appeal to them. Hell, even DOA4 has been pushed back again.
    • Claiming that the Japanese are more aware of the Xbox 360 than they were of the Xbox is akin to claiming to be the tallest midget in the world. It may be true, but what does it accomplish really?
  • Shibuya Tsutaya may have "sold out" in the morning, but when I went back there at around 5pm they had XB360s in stock.
  • Not that it's worth much, but I lived in Japan through the release of the PS2, original Xbox, and GC. I'm no marketing expert, but even I can see Microsoft setting itself up to repeat the orginal Xbox's failure.

    The Name:

    Did Nintendo release the NES as the cryptic "famicom" to the US market? No, and for good reason. The Dreamcast, Gamecube, and Playstation have much more English-friendly names which were obviously intended for the world market. While the exbox has the simple repetitive gruntability

  • Xbox has a history of having generally boring-ass games. FPSs and driving games and more FPSs and driving games. And when you think about the themes, they're mostly american or european. No japanese rpgs or other genres thought as a minority here but ones that are seriously popular over there.

    On FPSs, a bit offtopic: A friend once told me that the japanese don't generally play fps-games because they get headaches from them.. Is this just another urban legend or something real?
    • Can't speak for the Japanese, but I've known several women who have the same issue. They just get "seasick" with any sort of 3D, be it FPS or even watching Raziel and Kain run around in circles chopping people up.

      I never understood it.
  • Just came across this article [famitsu.com] in Famitsuu Online. It has the sales figures for the first three days after the Xbox 360 release. The article is based on data gathered across the nation by Famitsuu's marketing arm. Here's a quick summary of the numbers:

    360 Sales: (initial three days)

    • Estimated 360 sales: 62,135 units
    • Estimated units shipped to stores: 159,000 units

    Original Xbox Sales: (initial three days following 2002/11/22 launch)

    • 123,929 units

    Top 360 Software Sales:

    1. Ridge Racer 6: 29,891
    • Oops, since the article was published on the 13th, and the Xbox 360 was released on the 10th, it only reflects the first TWO days of 360 sales. (The title of the article also clarifies that the 360 sales figures refer to the first two days.) Apologies.

      The sales figures quoted for the original Xbox are for its first three days. I guess that's because it went on sale on a Friday, whereas the 360 debuted on a Saturday. It's also worth noting that I somehow interchanged the Dreamcast and Xbox in my head b

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