Microsoft Committed to Xbox in Japan

Microsoft told reporters in Tokyo Thursday that it planned to triple the number of games it will offer in Japan by the end of this year. The console has struggled in the country, largely out of a lack of Japanese-centric games and consumers’ wishes to wait for Sony’s PlayStation 3.

Role-playing games like Final Fantasy are popular in Japan, much different from stateside gamers’ preference for first person shooters. Also, Japanese gamers seem to prefer consoles made by companies based in the country, accounting for Sony and Nintendo’s success.

However, Microsoft is not ready to give up on the Japanese market. “Our message is this: We’re prepared to do everything that’s needed to make Xbox 360 a success around the world, including Japan,” new Xbox Japan head Takashi Sensui told reporters. He took the reigns in the country at the beginning of this month.

Sensui replaced Yoshihiro Maruyama, who announced his resignation in February. Microsoft at the time said Maruyama’s exit had nothing to do with the lackluster sales of the console in Japan.

Microsoft plans to release several new role-playing games targeting Japanese consumers, and said that Final Fantasy XI, a very popular game series in the U.S., would go on sale by the end of the month. 25 games are currently available, with 15 more slated for summer. By the end of this year, Microsoft plans to have 80 games on Japanese shelves.

The company did not provide numbers on console sales in the country, but has continually reiterated its four to five million-console target by the end of June.

News source: betanews


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