Japanese Gamers React to Xbox One Changes

After a big ruckus, Microsoft decided to change its Xbox One online policy. In the West, there were a variety of reactions to this change—mostly positive. But what about in Japan?

Japan, of course, is one of the biggest markets for console games. It's also home to Microsoft's rivals, Sony and Nintendo. The original Xbox and the Xbox 360 never had much luck in Japan, and the upcoming Xbox One still doesn't have a release date for the region.

But, the gamers here, like gamers anywhere, are opinionated and have been offering their two cents.

"It was as expected considering how much they [Microsoft] were getting totally beaten," wrote one commenter on popular game site, Hachima. "Well, how's this gonna pan out?"

"Yesssssssssssss!" wrote a commenter about the change. "But, I'm getting a PS4."

"Still don't want one," chimed in another.

On website Amaebi, some were suspect about the changes. "Doesn't making these changes at the last minute," wrote one commenter, "mean they can add them back whenever?"

The about-face also amused many online in Japan. "Next week, out of desperation," another Hachima commenter wrote, "they'll lower the price." And another added, "Next week, there will be a Kinect free version."

Other gamers pointed out how this recent development is probably making Sony worried and even undercutting the PS4's overwhelming advantage. Price seemed to be a big point for gamers online in Japan. "If they drop the price, everything will instantly turn Microsoft's way," explained a commenter. "Defeat Sony," wrote another.

"Microsoft was thinking about [what's best for] the game industry, but Sony forced them to back down," wrote one commenter.

Since, from the sound of it, the Xbox One won't be blocked from regions, a handful of Japanese gamers are sharing info on how to procure an Xbox One when it launches in the West. This change was being called a "godsend" by some. (There are questions, however, whether it will be possible to connect an Xbox Live account to the Xbox One in Japan before the console launches.)

All this comes after No More Heroes creator Goichi Suda sounded diplomatically bullish on the Xbox One. Even though he admitted Microsoft hasn't really brought Japanese developers up to speed, Suda recently told Now Gamer, "...Windows and a lot other Microsoft products have a track record of being successful in Japan, so I think it’s matter of time or some kind of hook that will let the Xbox explode or shine in Japan. But what or when that is, is still kind of up in the air."

Other Japanese game creators, such as Akihiro Hino, have also expressed interest in making Xbox One games. Hino, best known for Professor Layton, told Dengeki Online, "Using the Kinect interface, I'd like to make a role-playing game that allows you to really have a conversation."

Make no mistake: Japan is ruled by Nintendo and Sony. That probably won't change with the Xbox One, but now, at least gamers in Japan might be able to import Microsoft's new console and games.

To contact the author of this post, write to bashcraftATkotaku.com or find him on Twitter @Brian_Ashcraft.

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