Microsoft Won't Back Down From Japan Console Race
February 1, 2007 3:57 PM
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Moore with his Halo 2 release date - Image courtesy Todd Bishop's Microsoft Blog
Microsoft may be last place in Japan, but it has no intentions of throwing in the towel
Peter Moore of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division believes in Xbox so much, that he’s tattooed his biceps with Halo 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV for the sake of game announcement events. Speaking with
, Moore touches upon several topics surrounding the console.
A popular thing to poll the execs on is their thoughts about Nintendo Wii. Moore doesn’t buck the trend and has nice things to say: “The innovation that the Wii is, I'm certainly a big fan of. It ties in exactly with what Nintendo needs to do. And it ties directly into their strong intellectual property that is more youth oriented and more family oriented.”
The industry may be envious of the Wii’s popularity with the non-gamer market, but Moore says that he has nothing to envy about Sony’s current offering. “The PS3, I really don't know what I would look at there that we're really missing,” said Moore, while pointing out that he’s very confident in Xbox 360’s software portfolio and Xbox Live service. “The online service, [Sony's] still trying to get it up to speed and there's nothing really there that I can really point to that I wish we had. You know, certainly the price point of the PS3 isn't something that I want to emulate.”
Microsoft is enjoying Xbox solid success most of its territories, and Moore is not anticipating any change in leadership a year from now. “Obviously we have the intent to grow the lead we have. The attach rate is very important as well and making sure people are buying lots of games for their console. The rate of 5.1 here in America is very, very healthy,” he said “I think if we sat here a year from now we'd be able to say, we took advantage of the critical mass we got, there are more games being made than ever for the Xbox 360.”
While the Xbox 360 gaining ground in the western world, the console isn’t putting a dent into the Japanese market. When asked if Microsoft needs to rethink its strategy in the Japanese market, Moore replied, “No, I think we need to compete in Japan [now]. I think there's a tremendous amount of benefits, both direct and indirect, of being a good partner … There are a myriad of different things that provide benefits for us for being a competitor in the Japanese videogame market and that's something we'll continue to do.” Although the installed user base of the Xbox 360 has already been surpassed by the Wii and PS3, Moore says that Microsoft has no intention of conceding defeat. “It's not easy, let me make that clear. It's not easy. But we're not going to back down just because it's not easy.”
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2/1/2007 7:49:04 PM
No, it won't. Without a major partnership with a Japanese game company, Microsoft gets to be last place in Japan-again. XBOX 360 is already cheaper than the Sony PS/3, but the PS/3 outsells it ANYWAY. If you want to make inroads you team up with a major company over there.
Until Microsoft understands that "my way or the highway" doesn't work over there, this will happen over and over again. The original XBOX was a complete disaster, sales-wise, in Japan...
2/1/2007 9:24:42 PM
Capcom has released a couple successful games on the 360 and so has Temco. Then there's Blue Dragon. Microsoft does have decent support from Japanese studios.
Pricing does have a big impact in Japan. Release of the Core system has revived sales from comatose to merely poor.
2/4/2007 12:45:02 PM
If the XBOX 360 was MADE by Microsoft+ someone like Namco, the Japanese consumers would buy far more of them.
Basic rule of business in Japan-if you want to be successful, you partner up with a major company. Simply having a handful of third party Japanese publishers isn't enough.
The XBOX 360's fate in Japan is already decided-3rd place for the life of the console.
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