Microsoft is having a bad time in Japan with their primary console, Xbox 360. Despite some notable titles such as Blue Dragon, Ace Combat and Idolmaster the console has never seriously made an impact in a country that has been monopolized by home-grown Sony (PS3) and Nintendo (Wii). Previous reports had even started to speculate that Microsoft was going to call it a day, given the nearly non-existent sales.
“No, of course we’re not pulling out,” said Microsoft EMEA VP Chris Lewis at GamesCom to Eurogamer. “It’s a challenging market. We are up against very strong competition there. All of our competition is strong. We’re very respectful of what Sony and Nintendo do and where they’ve come from and what they bring.”
Even with the major titles going multi-platform, there is still something that can be squeezed in the market, insists Microsoft. While known retailers in Japan are scaling back on Xbox 360, Microsoft thinks that it has a lot more to offer to their audience, despite closed competition.
“Nintendo, particularly with the Wii, have opened up a market opportunity there,” Lewis offered. “We’ve leapfrogged that handheld technology with Kinect. What we’re seeing is users love using their own body without worrying about how to work a controller. So we see ourselves as, frankly, a company that does bring an awful lot of firsts, and we’ve enjoyed fabulous success with Kinect.”
“Japan remains important to us. We’re very committed to that market. The development community there is very important. Tokyo Game Show will be a notable element in the year as usual.”
TGS is set to kick off in September 15, and Microsoft will be in full force to give support and showcase the Kinect even more to the Japanese.