What's the Point of Releasing the Xbox One in Japan, Anyway?

Today, Microsoft announced that the Xbox One will be out in Japan in September 2014. That's almost a year after it was released in North America and parts of Europe. But, really, why bother?

Online in Japan, many gamers were amused by the fall 2014 release. "September, lol. It's already forgotten," wrote one commenter on 2ch, the country's biggest online forum. Another simply added, "September hahahahahahahahaha."

One 2ch thread even featured translated comments of Western gamers on the Xbox One's Japanese release—giving this article shades of Inception. (Yes, we can go deeper!)

The Xbox 360, and its predecessor before it, had a difficult time connecting with Japanese gamers—even after Microsoft went to great lengths to court them. While Microsoft products like Word and Western products like iPhones have a high acceptance rate in Japan, the Xbox never really caught on.

"Make no mistake, it'll probably do worse than the 360," added another 2ch user.

Another 2ch user wrote, "This is a complete defeat."

"Yep, it's over, lol," wrote yet another.

Of course, there were gamers on 2ch who mentioned how they liked the controller and would think about buying the Xbox One should there be enough appealing exclusives—such as a new Idolm@ster game. On 2ch, one self-proclaimed FPS gamer called the announcement "extremely good news."

But, another commenter quipped, "A PC is enough."

On game blogs, the reaction was about the same. On popular site My Game News Flash, one commenter wrote, "The Xbox One's biggest rival is the 360." There were comparisons to the ill-fated 3DO and claims that Microsoft was low on cash.

Some didn't like how Japan seemed to be an afterthought. One added, "If you're going to sell it, then put all your effort into it."

And do keep in mind, this isn't the opinion of all Japanese gamers. At this point, maybe Microsoft figures it has enough fans outside Japan for the country not to matter as much as it did in the past. And yes, there still are hardcore Xbox fans in Japan, and some people will buy the Xbox One when it's finally released in the country... in September.

But, by then, with the PS4 and the Wii U having more and more titles, people certainly being able to import consoles on their own, and a general aversion to the Xbox in Japan, why even bother?

「Xbox One」 9月発売予定 詳細は4月下旬に公開 [2ch]

Xbox Oneが日本含む26カ国で9月発売決定、欧米での反応は [2ch]

Photo: Jamzy at Famitsu

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

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