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Report: Microsoft's Xbox 360 Japanese Prospects Explored

A new report has been exploring Microsoft's chances for success with Xbox 360 in Japan, and cites the company's Japanese president, Darren Huston, as commenting: "I can’t say I’m beaming with confidence in Japan" with regard to Microsoft's next-gen consol
An IDG News Service report has focused on Microsoft's console strategies in Japan, noting that, though picking up where the original Xbox left off, the Xbox 360 continues to face similar obstacles in establishing a foothold in the Japanese market. Citing "not enough Japan-specific content" as the main reason for lackluster sales, Darren Huston, president and chief executive officer of Microsoft’s Japan unit, Microsoft Co. Ltd., stated the company will continue to push original content as its key weapon, but also remarked, "I can’t say I’m beaming with confidence in Japan." Hoping to benefit from a early start, the Xbox 360 launched the Japanese market last December to much fanfare but little effect, the report notes, selling 43,970 units (according to independent research firm Media Create) in its first weekend, compared to 106,867 console sales for the original Xbox’s launch weekend. Since then, Microsoft has sold less than 150,000 Xbox 360s in Japan, with varying exact counts from different industry research firms, but well short of the original targets for the firm. While the company comissioned some of Japan's franchise heavy hitters to develop various games for the system including Tetsuya Mizuguchi (Rez, Lumines) whose Ninety-Nine Nights was released in late April, the commentary notes that the results seem to be too little, too late, with only one of Hironobu Sakaguchi's (of Final Fantasy fame) Mistwalker RPG titles to be released sometime this year expected to supply any significant help to the embattled console. Adding to the lack of any impactful Japanese genre favorites, the expected launches of the Sony Playstation 3 and Nintendo Wii later this year only further serve to worsen Microsoft's console woes in the territory, the piece concludes.

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