Print 18 comment(s) - last by crazyblackman.. on Aug 21 at 12:40 AM

Role Playing Game Tales of Vesperia Helps Boost Sales

Microsoft's Xbox 360 has outsold Sony's PlayStation 3 in Japan, helped by the popularity of the new role-playing game "Tales of Vesperia," an Xbox 360 exclusive.

Microsoft sold 24,962 Xbox 360 consoles in Japan in the week ended August 10, topping Sony's sales of 9,673 PS3s, according to a Media Create ranking. Both companies lagged behind Nintendo, which sold 38,506 Wii consoles and 60,434 Nintendo DS Lites:

Nintendo DS - 60,434
PSP - 58,501
Wii - 38,506
Xbox 360 - 24,962
PlayStation 3 - 9,673
PlayStation 2 - 8,503

Sales of the Xbox 360 nearly quadrupled compared with the previous week's sales, due to strong demand for the latest game in the "Tales Of" role-playing series developed by Bandai Namco. Both the Xbox 360 and the PS3 have struggled against the overwhelming competition from the Wii, which is a hit in Japan and in many other countries, due to its ability to  appeal to non-traditional video game players.

Microsoft has struggled to make inroads into game-loving Japan, where the market has long been dominated by Sony and Nintendo. Analysts say the original Xbox failed in Japan due to a lack of games that appealed to local tastes. The key to making inroads in to the Japanese market may be role playing games considering the latest sales numbers and with Microsoft aggressively pursuing other RPG franchises, like Star Ocean and Final Fantasy, it will be interesting to see if there will be change in their fortunes. Bandai Namco plans to launch "Tales of Vesperia" in the United States on August 26.

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WTG 360!
By Chaser on 8/19/2008 9:03:02 AM , Rating: 1
Good news for the 360.

I look forward to a post when the PS3 outsells the 360 in the U.S. for a week or more as well Stephen.

RE: WTG 360!
By FITCamaro on 8/19/2008 12:47:06 PM , Rating: 2
PS3 is currently outselling the 360.

I agree this is pretty remarkable. Even if it was for only a week. The Japanese need to get over some of their nationalism. I agree that its a good thing to have but they take it a bit far.

RE: WTG 360!
By DASQ on 8/19/2008 1:14:20 PM , Rating: 4
I'd hardly call it nationalism, it's more brand loyalty than anything. When a majority of the gaming youth culture is built around the Playstation 1, it's hard not to talk about and consider the PS3 first.

RE: WTG 360!
By mmntech on 8/19/2008 1:59:06 PM , Rating: 2
Most of the 360's games seem to be heavily targeted at a Western (particularly American) audience. That could probably have something to do with it not selling as well in Japan. The PS3 and Wii on the other hand focus a lot of their game development on the Japanese market. While westerners prefer shooters, in general, the Japanese prefer RPG type games. There's more RPGs on the PS3, they just never get released here in NA.

RE: WTG 360!
By FITCamaro on 8/19/2008 3:06:06 PM , Rating: 2
That's not Microsoft's fault. Japanese developers just don't put their games on the 360. FFXIII could be the beginning of the end for Sony's dominance in Japan. If SE will put Final Fantasy on the 360, other developers might start putting their games on the 360 as well. Lower development costs being the main reason.

RE: WTG 360!
By Icelight on 8/19/2008 4:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
SE is only putting FFXIII on the 360 in North America/Europe...not Japan (guess Microsoft didn't line their coffers quite enough, or Sony did ;) ).

RE: WTG 360!
By PandaBear on 8/20/2008 7:44:24 PM , Rating: 2
That's so MS' fault. You have to understand that you need to give incentive to a developer for an uncertain platform, sometimes either staffing for them to port game over, reducing loyalty, or pay them a hefty amount of development costs.

Grocery stores charge shelf space rent for the same reason. If you are not selling well, I am not going to let you waste my space for an empty promise.

RE: WTG 360!
By afkrotch on 8/20/2008 4:47:01 AM , Rating: 2
Japanese prefer RPG type games.

Actually, that's just some of the gamers. If you look at a system like the PS2, it's success was built around a wide variety of games. RPGs, Dating Sims, thrillers, fighting, etc.

I will agree that RPGs are big, but it's not as big as you'd think. If it were, the Wii wouldn't be number 1 right now. It's about having an overall platform that will appeal to a wide audience.

Also the PS3 has less RPGs than the 360 in the Japanese market, fyi. I think they are just more memorable. Valkyria Chronicles looks amazing, from the vids I have seen. I haven't picked it up yet, so haven't a clue how good/bad it is.

RE: WTG 360!
By omnicronx on 8/19/2008 4:00:51 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize that Sony is a Japanese brand too right?

RE: WTG 360!
By afkrotch on 8/20/2008 4:03:10 AM , Rating: 2
The Japanese need to get over some of their nationalism.

It's just not about nationalism. It's also about views. 360, not Japanese. 360, breaks a lot. 360, lack of games for the Japanese market.

The only games I have seen that were worthwhile in the Japanese market were/are...

Oneechanbara Vortex
Idolm@ster: Live for You
Gundam: Operation Troy

Operation Troy is an FPS, bad start there. Idolm@ster is niche. Oneechanbara Vortex is also pretty niche and it doesn't look much better than Oneechanbara 1 and 2 for PS2. Many of the other games are on other consoles.

Every RPG to grace the 360 has been a failure, for the most part. Trusty Bell wasn't great. Blue Dragon wasn't great. Phantasy Star Universe wasn't great. Lost Odyssey wasn't great. Diaro wasn't great. The list of games to touch the Japanese market just don't have any appeal.

I remember when Blue Dragon had it's big release. They were flying off the shelf. Next day, the ones that flew off the shelves flew back on the shelves as ppl returned them. Even the Limited Edition Blue Dragon 360 bundles went right back on the shelves. This is pretty normal (in Japan) for short games, as ppl can beat them in a day, but Blue Dragon simply failed miserably.

I bought a PS3 before I bought a 360 and majority of my games sit on the PS3. I could care less about Halo, Gears of War, Army of Two, CoD4, etc. Much like the Japanese. Until either Microsoft works out more deals with Japanese developers or Japanese developers find the 360 more appealing, we won't be seeing the 360 ahead of the PS3 in the Japanese market.

Microsoft is playing in a market they don't understand and they know it. That's why they haven't place big hopes on it. Any gains in Japan is a success to them.

RE: WTG 360!
By crazyblackman on 8/21/2008 12:40:59 AM , Rating: 1
coffin shipments to japan FTW!!!

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