Xbox One’s Launch Flops in Japan, Surprises Nobody


Microsoft‘s Xbox brand of consoles never really made much of an impact in Japan, not only due in thanks to competition from Japanese locals Sony and Nintendo, but also their lack of drive to cater to the Japanese market. The Xbox 360 actually sold so poorly there that many retailers eventually stopped stocking it altogether.

With Microsoft‘s goal of making the Xbox One a worldwide success, the console launched in Japan a week ago and wasn’t exactly welcomed with open arms. Gaming publication sites like Kotaku posted images from various Japanese retailer’s midnight release lines, only to show barren streets or passerby none too concerned with the Xbox One at all. That same Kotaku article also cracked a joke stating that one image showing a line of eleven people was actually for a soup stand selling cow tongue soup, which ended up being one person larger than the largest Xbox One midnight release line. Ouch.

While no one really anticipated the Xbox One making a huge splash in Japan, recent sales numbers show that the console only managed to move 23,562 units during its first week. Compared to the PS4 and Wii U moving 300,000 units each during the same time span, that’s not very good at all. Even the Xbox 360 sold 60,000 units during its first two days on sale back in 2005, and the Xbox One didn’t even sell half of that.

To top things off, Microsoft released their list of games that’ll be on display at the upcoming Tokyo Game Show, and they don’t really seem to be catering to the Japanese market once again. Games that will no doubt be huge hits here in North America, like Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Forza Horizon 2, and Sunset Overdrive, are on display, but are they interesting enough to Japanese consumers to help drive console sales? Aside from D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die and Psycho-Pass: Sentaku naki Koufuku, there are no other Japanese games on display at all. I’m also concerned that Platinum GamesXbox One exclusive Scalebound isn’t being shown in any way.

While many aren’t surprised that the Xbox One isn’t doing so hot in Japan right now, one can’t help but wonder what Microsoft will do next in their attempt to increase console sales in the East.

(Images from & NeoGAF)

Bio Card Brad

Bradley Keene is the Executive Editor here at What’s Your Tag?, generally handling reviews, public relations, and our social media communications. He’s an aspiring video game journalist, Baltimore native, and on again/off again WoW player that favors roguelikes, horror games, and point-and-click adventures. His favorite console is the Dreamcast, favorite game is the original Metroid, and he could watch The Goonies for the rest of his life. Contact him by e-mail at the address above, or follow his insanity on Twitter.


  1. When I was in Tokyo last summer, I spent time in one store browsing video games. Long story short, I got some weird looks after laughing at something – the PS2 section was larger than the 360 section.

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