Microsoft moves to fight lagging sales

Microsoft has had a hard time gaining any traction in the Japanese console market with its XBOX and XBOX 360 consoles. On Japanese soil, Nintendo and Sony are the kings and Microsoft is an also-ran. According to Reuters, Japanese XBOX 360 sales have only accounted for a small fraction of worldwide sales:

Xbox 360 sales in Japan reached 158,654 units as of early this month, while 5 million units had been sold worldwide by the end of June, the paper said, quoting data from game marketing firm Enterbrain Inc.

The Redmond, Washington-based giant is looking to make some inroads in the Japanese market by offering the XBOX 360 Core System available to consumers.

The XBOX 360 Core System has been available in the United States and Europe since its Q4 '05 launch. In the United States, the XBOX 360 Core System forgoes the 20GB hard drive, chrome trim, wireless controller, Ethernet cable and XBOX Live Headset. The Core system also features a Composite AV cable instead of the Component HD-AV cable.

Japan's Nihon Keizai reports that the XBOX 360 Core System will retail for 10,000 yen ($86 USD) less than the XBOX 360 System which currently sells for 39,600 yen ($340 USD). As an added bonus, IGN is reporting that Microsoft is also including Project Gotham Racing 3 and Ninety-Nine Nights in with the package.The XBOX 360 Core System is due to be available in Japan starting November 2.

"Paying an extra $500 for a computer in this environment -- same piece of hardware -- paying $500 more to get a logo on it? I think that's a more challenging proposition for the average person than it used to be." -- Steve Ballmer

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