Microsoft's next generation in Japan

1. Only release Western stuff with minimal translation.

2. Use Japanese devs but only for games intended for the West.

3. Skimp on marketing.

4. Put the extra cash towards trouncing Sony in the States and trying to compete against Sony and Ninty in Europe.
This seems actually like a very good idea.
 
Can't say I disagree with the "don't bother" camp. The 360 had it all for Japanese gamers at one point, a ton of moneyhat'd exclusive JRPGs (many of which Sony has clawed back since), but they still wouldn't bite. By not supporting the console that brought the most JRPGs, they contributed to the genre's own downfall this gen, as MS found no more reason to moneyhat them.

It's not so much racism towards the West though, more like loyalty towards their own brands. That's fair enough, I suppose. At this point MS would be better off continuing their push into Europe. They already own the UK, but have quite a ways to go elsewhere. As for Japan? Launch with some big exclusives (Mo-Hun?) and if it doesn't yield fruit, then commence the "not bothering".
 
Can't say I disagree with the "don't bother" camp. The 360 had it all for Japanese gamers at one point, a ton of moneyhat'd exclusive JRPGs (many of which Sony has clawed back since), but they still wouldn't bite. By not supporting the console that brought the most JRPGs, they contributed to the genre's own downfall this gen, as MS found no more reason to moneyhat them.

It's not so much racism towards the West though, more like loyalty towards their own brands. That's fair enough, I suppose. At this point MS would be better off continuing their push into Europe. They already own the UK, but have quite a ways to go elsewhere. As for Japan? Launch with some big exclusives (Mo-Hun?) and if it doesn't yield fruit, then commence the "not bothering".
360 already has a MoH exclusive game, in fact it's online which should be a plus, but that didn't really help it. Simply put, Japanese gamers don't care about Microsoft. From many perspectives, they're right not to.

Regarding Europe, the UK market is similar to that of the US (i.e. mad advertising works wonders). THe rest of Europe is/was more leaning towards the PC, i.e. much more tech aware, so they know how to make an educated decision when buying or not buying a particular console.

Also there's two words why Sony will be ahead of MS in Europe all the time...Gran Turismo.
 
360 already has a MoH exclusive game, in fact it's online which should be a plus, but that didn't really help it. Simply put, Japanese gamers don't care about Microsoft. From many perspectives, they're right not to.

Regarding Europe, the UK market is similar to that of the US (i.e. mad advertising works wonders). THe rest of Europe is/was more leaning towards the PC, i.e. much more tech aware, so they know how to make an educated decision when buying or not buying a particular console.

Also there's two words why Sony will be ahead of MS in Europe all the time...Gran Turismo.
If only they had brought Frontier out in the rest of the world, maybe the game would have been much bigger and provided some much more interesting updates to keep gamers hooked. It is still popular in Japan, just not as big as it could have been. It worked well for Tri on the Wii, so surprising that MS got Frontier and then it never left Japan. I think they are up to the 3rd one now.

As for Gran Turismo, if MS hit the market before Sony and pumps out a new Forza, they could take that crown, since nobody really expects a new GT game over the next few years.
 
They shouldn't bother. They wasted millions of dollars for pretty much to make a small dent in the Japanese gaming market. Instead of money hatting J-RPG's which sell piss poor these days, they should be spending that money on first party studios that can develop W-RPG's. Despite the Fable series being not good they sell millions of copies in the Western market. Guess it was fun seeing Microsoft cock block Sony from getting several games for the first two years making people rage. So it wasn't all for waste.
 
Can't say I disagree with the "don't bother" camp. The 360 had it all for Japanese gamers at one point, a ton of moneyhat'd exclusive JRPGs (many of which Sony has clawed back since), but they still wouldn't bite. By not supporting the console that brought the most JRPGs, they contributed to the genre's own downfall this gen, as MS found no more reason to moneyhat them.

It's not so much racism towards the West though, more like loyalty towards their own brands. That's fair enough, I suppose. At this point MS would be better off continuing their push into Europe. They already own the UK, but have quite a ways to go elsewhere. As for Japan? Launch with some big exclusives (Mo-Hun?) and if it doesn't yield fruit, then commence the "not bothering".
I've wondered if it's racism or just loyalty, I'm guessing it's the latter. It sounds like the japanese culture with loyalty in mind. Turning their back on Xbox though, is in the long run not making it easy for the Japanese developers. They would benefit from Xbox doing well in Japan too, meaning more developers from Japan making games for all three consoles and then easier being able to launch them world-wide.
 
They absolutely must have a presence at the bare minimum in Japan. Its the third largest market in the world and still houses some brilliant creatives - they can't and won't just give up and concede the market to their competitors.

They probably won't make such a big effort as they did with the X360, but they have to be here.

It's not as if people are unfamiliar or, an even worse accusation - hateful of MS because they're American. The X360 and Xbox just didn't jive with what a majority of Japanese gamers desire in a console. The PS3 didn't either but probably persisted well in large part thanks to the success and prevalence of the PSP.
 
An exclusive MH for Xbox whatever would do shit to save it. I wouldn't be surprised if Tri on Wii is the highest point the console series ever reaches in Japan.

Xibit would love MH on an Xbox too, since console MH games in Japan require payment for online gameplay. So you'll have to pay MS Japan for the ability to pay Capcom to play online.
 
An exclusive MH for Xbox whatever would do shit to save it. I wouldn't be surprised if Tri on Wii is the highest point the console series ever reaches in Japan.
Depending on Monster Hunter 4 3DS and if it comes to VITA also, I think that has a chance of making a bigger dent. Hopefully the mix the formula up a bit, since the last few MH games have basically just been copies of each other with a few tweaks and additions.
 
‘Racism’ or ‘loyalty’? These are the only two options? Just like that girl who turned you down at the bar must be a lesbian right?

It wasn't possibly because you're overweight, ugly, noisy, don't offer her the things she wants and try to push onto her the things you have to offer. Maybe you're just not attractive to her, and it has nothing to do with your race or her sexual preference.

That right there, is why MS isn't succeeding (in gaming) in Japan. The X360 lacks all of the qualities that are appealing to the Japanese. It's overweight, ugly, noisy and isn't geared toward what the Japanese market historically is interested in.

It's known as the young man's gaming machine, not the family fun center. Small houses with only one TV can't afford to give the time and space MS requires to deliver the gaming experiences its known for. Even the power cable has that huge converter that makes it highly impractical for tight space.

And dont forget that a lot of the selling points (Netflix, etc) in the States are either absent or heavily neutered in Japan. Instead, we have Torne on the PS3, which turns the triple into a TV tuner, not just a glorified Hulu web page. It's much more appealing.

The Japanese don't have anything against American products – like many areas, they're considered special and are generally more expensive. But similarly to how American SUVs don't fit on Japanese roads, our consoles don't fit into Japanese entertainment centers (though admittedly more metaphorically than physically).
 
I don't think they will enter Japan again. Not as Microsoft anyway. And not as Xbox. Some fancy name for the Japanese market might be the solution. But IMO the only way for them to be successful in Japan is to have the console released under a brand that is known and liked in the country. Would be cool if they could release it as Xbox Loop in the western markets and as Dreamcast 2 in Japan. They might even think about a cooperation with Sony. Sony keeps Japan, MS the US and they share Europe. Because realistically both PS4 and Xbox Loop would go for IBM CPUs and AMD GPUs, they will be pretty much identical in terms of hardware. Why risk all those costs when you could just cooperate?
 
‘Racism’ or ‘loyalty’? These are the only two options? Just like that girl who turned you down at the bar must be a lesbian right?

It wasn't possibly because you're overweight, ugly, noisy, don't offer her the things she wants and try to push onto her the things you have to offer. Maybe you're just not attractive to her, and it has nothing to do with your race or her sexual preference.

That right there, is why MS isn't succeeding (in gaming) in Japan. The X360 lacks all of the qualities that are appealing to the Japanese. It's overweight, ugly, noisy and isn't geared toward what the Japanese market historically is interested in.

It's known as the young man's gaming machine, not the family fun center. Small houses with only one TV can't afford to give the time and space MS requires to deliver the gaming experiences its known for. Even the power cable has that huge converter that makes it highly impractical for tight space.

And dont forget that a lot of the selling points (Netflix, etc) in the States are either absent or heavily neutered in Japan. Instead, we have Torne on the PS3, which turns the triple into a TV tuner, not just a glorified Hulu web page. It's much more appealing.

The Japanese don't have anything against American products – like many areas, they're considered special and are generally more expensive. But similarly to how American SUVs don't fit on Japanese roads, our consoles don't fit into Japanese entertainment centers (though admittedly more metaphorically than physically).
But that's not what the 360 fanboys want to believe! But seriously, there's virtually no reason why a japanese gamer would pick up a 360 instead of PS3.

I've no idea what plans MS have for japan, but i got a feeling the rapid loss of 360 exclusives is going to hurt them bad next gen.
 

BGBW

Maturity, bitches.
Given that the U.K. surpassed Japan and became the second-largest gaming market in the world in the middle of this generation...I really doubt MS will put anymore effort into marketing their next console over there than they did with the 360. Why bother when your two biggest places for sales and revenue are in the west? It certainly doesn't look like Japanese gaming sales are heading towards some sort of meteoric rise anytime soon.
So M$ moneyhatted iDOLM@STER for Japan, but once the UK becomes the second best they don't give it to us? DAMN YOU MICRO$$$$$$OFT. I"M NEVER GOING TO GIVE YOU MY CONSOLE MONEY!!!!111
 
But that's not what the 360 fanboys want to believe! But seriously, there's virtually no reason why a japanese gamer would pick up a 360 instead of PS3.

I've no idea what plans MS have for japan, but i got a feeling the rapid loss of 360 exclusives is going to hurt them bad next gen.
There was a reason to pick X360 for at least first 2-3 years, when X360 got all the jRPG exclusives. Nobody bothered then.

I simply think X360 and PS3 ran into emerging handheld market in Japan. This trend will only continue. Unless Microsoft has plans to design Xbox handheld, I see no way they can be successful in Japan.

Also, I'm sure Microsoft is rather pissed about so many developers making "exclusive games" for the X360, then releasing better versions a year later for PS3.
 
they should imo expand live services in eastern europe, people there enjoy the same shooters and GTAs the US and western europe enjoys
some bigger marketing push too, the PS brand is quite strong in EE
 
they should imo expand live services in eastern europe, people there enjoy the same shooters and GTAs the US and western europe enjoys
some bigger marketing push too, the PS brand is quite strong in EE
Sony has regional branches working on pushing the product. In Poland Microsoft became official X360 distributor only in 2009, XBL Poland launched end of 2010, and is still sub-par to Germany, France, etc. Just discovered I cannot even move my fake XBL French profile to Poland, the service was deactivated after a year rotfl.

If you don't give a shit about your product, others won't give a shit as well.

They should focus on Europe, Brazil, China, India.
Consoles are banned in China. They wouldn't have much success anyway due to atrocious piracy rates.
 
They released good JRPGs in there when the competition did fucking nothing about that henre. If that doesn't work, then just ignore that racist island :b
 
‘Racism’ or ‘loyalty’? These are the only two options? Just like that girl who turned you down at the bar must be a lesbian right?

It wasn't possibly because you're overweight, ugly, noisy, don't offer her the things she wants and try to push onto her the things you have to offer. Maybe you're just not attractive to her, and it has nothing to do with your race or her sexual preference.

That right there, is why MS isn't succeeding (in gaming) in Japan. The X360 lacks all of the qualities that are appealing to the Japanese. It's overweight, ugly, noisy and isn't geared toward what the Japanese market historically is interested in.

It's known as the young man's gaming machine, not the family fun center. Small houses with only one TV can't afford to give the time and space MS requires to deliver the gaming experiences its known for. Even the power cable has that huge converter that makes it highly impractical for tight space.

And dont forget that a lot of the selling points (Netflix, etc) in the States are either absent or heavily neutered in Japan. Instead, we have Torne on the PS3, which turns the triple into a TV tuner, not just a glorified Hulu web page. It's much more appealing.

The Japanese don't have anything against American products – like many areas, they're considered special and are generally more expensive. But similarly to how American SUVs don't fit on Japanese roads, our consoles don't fit into Japanese entertainment centers (though admittedly more metaphorically than physically).
A few of your points might be valid, but why is it so hard to admit that Japanese gamers didn't really give MS a fair shake with the 360. The size wasn't that much bigger than the PS3 if bigger at all. The DVR boxes most cable companies in Japan offer are as large, and most stand alone blu-ray players are in the same size range so the Japanese themselves aren't exactly putting compact little electronic devices into homes.
 
A few of your points might be valid, but why is it so hard to admit that Japanese gamers didn't really give MS a fair shake with the 360. The size wasn't that much bigger than the PS3 if bigger at all. The DVR boxes most cable companies in Japan offer are as large, and most stand alone blu-ray players are in the same size range so the Japanese themselves aren't exactly putting compact little electronic devices into homes.
I think it also had to do with people knowing PS3 and Wii were coming a year later. Probably a lot of them simply decided to wait.
 
Anbody know what the general thoughts around online gaming in Japan?

I know they seem to like to compete more old-school over high-score lists, rather than head-to-head in FPS games like CoD and BF (though in both COD4 and BF BC2 I met whole japanese teams on 360 a few, very rare, times).

I wonder if the whole marketing on more "grown-up" dude-bro online gaming simply fails in Japan. Kinect could change that though.
 
‘Racism’ or ‘loyalty’? These are the only two options? Just like that girl who turned you down at the bar must be a lesbian right?

It wasn't possibly because you're overweight, ugly, noisy, don't offer her the things she wants and try to push onto her the things you have to offer. Maybe you're just not attractive to her, and it has nothing to do with your race or her sexual preference.

That right there, is why MS isn't succeeding (in gaming) in Japan. The X360 lacks all of the qualities that are appealing to the Japanese. It's overweight, ugly, noisy and isn't geared toward what the Japanese market historically is interested in.

It's known as the young man's gaming machine, not the family fun center. Small houses with only one TV can't afford to give the time and space MS requires to deliver the gaming experiences its known for. Even the power cable has that huge converter that makes it highly impractical for tight space.

And dont forget that a lot of the selling points (Netflix, etc) in the States are either absent or heavily neutered in Japan. Instead, we have Torne on the PS3, which turns the triple into a TV tuner, not just a glorified Hulu web page. It's much more appealing.

The Japanese don't have anything against American products – like many areas, they're considered special and are generally more expensive. But similarly to how American SUVs don't fit on Japanese roads, our consoles don't fit into Japanese entertainment centers (though admittedly more metaphorically than physically).
So the larger PS3 that had no RPGs or Dating sims was more appealing?

Pretty sure this particular case was an American thing.

Microsoft couldn't have actually done too much more than they did.
 
A few of your points might be valid, but why is it so hard to admit that Japanese gamers didn't really give MS a fair shake with the 360. The size wasn't that much bigger than the PS3 if bigger at all. The DVR boxes most cable companies in Japan offer are as large, and most stand alone blu-ray players are in the same size range so the Japanese themselves aren't exactly putting compact little electronic devices into homes.
The PS3 wasn't really successful in Japan until the slim came out, at which point it really began to pick up. And while receiver boxes are quite large, that makes the PS3 more appealing since you can replace it entirely with a Torne, if it works the way I understand it.

Japanese gamers gave it a fair shake - a not insignificant amount of hardcore gamers recognize it as a superior gaming machine. But it didn't have GT5 or MGS which mattered, and FF13 was originally exclusive as well.

Sony always had an advantage due to the trust in that brand in Japan. Sony products are even more ubiquitous than in the USA, and they also are responsible for the much beloved PSP. As an electronics company, Sony has that edge over MS. But... Racism? Xenophobia? Loyalty to your own kind? No. Just, no.

So the larger PS3 that had no RPGs or Dating sims was more appealing?

Pretty sure this particular case was an American thing.

Microsoft couldn't have actually done too much more than they did.
I don't know what to say to this. First of all, dating sims and RPGs – unless their name includes Final and Fantasy – are not what sell systems in Japan. At least not in large numbers. Seriously you have to be joking about the "dating sims" thing.

And again, there were tons of things Microsoft could have done to make it more appealing in Japan, but then they'd be sacrificing their brand image that they're working off of in other countries and probably didn't think it was worth it.

They offered HD graphics at a time when people didn't care about it. They offered online play (that isn't even free), again to people who largely aren't interested. The system is noisy and bulky and doesn't fit with Japanese aesthetics that are largely still heavily planted in modernist architecture and forms. The way they presented the console is all wrong and backward from a Japanese perspective.

"I like it but they don't, it must be xenophobia/racism" is lazy defeatism, IMO.
 
"I like it but they don't, it must be xenophobia/racism" is lazy defeatism, IMO.
Gotta say I agree with odd_morsel's sentiments on this theme.

As for the OP - I think Microsoft need to keep their finger in Japan's pie, so to speak. A strategic retreat today could make make any future Japan-centric plans they have all the more challenging.
 

RurouniZel

Asks questions so Ezalc doesn't have to
Another thing I'll throw out there. In the old days, it was very common for a videogame system's name to change when going from Japan to the States.

Nintendo Family Computer (Famicom) --> Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Super Famicom --> Super NES
Sega Mega Drive --> Sega Genesis
PC Engine --> Turbo Graphix 16

I think with Microsoft, depending on what they call their next system, might want to do the opposite. A friend of mine in Japan told me that it was difficult for some Japanese people to wrap their head around the name (ekusu bokusu san roku maru) whereas Wii and PlayStation 3 are much easier.
 
Japan is still I think the second largest videogames market so just ignoring it would be absolutely bonkers from a business point of view. If they want serious growth next gen they need to make inroads in Japan.

It's easier said than done but they just need to have the right product with the right marketing for the Japanese market. Obviously they haven't managed this yet but maybe it will be third time lucky.

The "Japanese don't like foreign products" thing is idiotic.
 
All this depends on what kind of console MS is making for the rest of the world. All signs are that it won't be much more powerful than the 360, and will have a stronger focus on movies, TV, and Kinect. Kinect seems like something that should be as popular in Japan as anywhere else, if they can get it to work in smaller spaces, and they can push out games with themes and gestures already familiar to the Japanese, like rock-paper-scissors or poking people in the butt.

As for TV, what you need to know about that is that Japanese people turn on the TV the first thing when they get home, turn it to the most inoffensive thing on, ignore it all night, and then turn it off before bed. How that fits in with MS's North American strategy of Netflix and sports, I don't know.
 
I guess the question we need to ask is how much money was "thrown at Japan" through the entirety of the 360? Those JRPG's it had still had sales elsewhere.

Without that number I don't see how we can judge if it's a waste of time or not.
 

TheSeks

Blinded by the luminous glory that is David Bowie's physical manifestation.
You know what would save the 360 in Japan? A fucking brand-new HD Phantom Dust, bitch. Sweet Jesus, how the fuck does Microsoft sit on this for FIVE YEARS NOW and not think "hmm, gee, we have this Japanese IP that could be sort of popular if we actually published it instead of shipping it to Majestco in the US."

I'm still bitter about the XBL shutdown because I can't play this. Fuck MS. RAGE.

----

*ahem* In any case: The 360 got some JRPGs and then MS's warchest stopped pumping money into the market there because I guess the reception was lukewarm... despite some non-Japanese "Japanese" people I know living there buying the RPGs on 360 and getting idolmaster/et. al. that were "360 exclusive" at the time. I think there's still some "hardcore" gamers in Japan that buy the 360 stuff because it's different from the norm (I guess an analogue would be "JRPG fans that don't want CoD/Modern Shooters" in the west, insert another genre for either one here) so they could get into the market there if they continued to appeal to those people and maybe butter up the Japanese developers to make something "non-Western" there. *shrug*

As far as "failure" I don't think the 360 has done as badly as the original X-box did in Japan.
 
I think Japanese consumers are going to move away from traditional Japanese games eventually. So if anything, Microsoft should advertise it as the western console and moneyhat some big western releases (fallout, gta, cod) to come out exclusively on their platform over there.
 
‘Racism’ or ‘loyalty’? These are the only two options? Just like that girl who turned you down at the bar must be a lesbian right?

It wasn't possibly because you're overweight, ugly, noisy, don't offer her the things she wants and try to push onto her the things you have to offer. Maybe you're just not attractive to her, and it has nothing to do with your race or her sexual preference.

That right there, is why MS isn't succeeding (in gaming) in Japan. The X360 lacks all of the qualities that are appealing to the Japanese. It's overweight, ugly, noisy and isn't geared toward what the Japanese market historically is interested in.

It's known as the young man's gaming machine, not the family fun center. Small houses with only one TV can't afford to give the time and space MS requires to deliver the gaming experiences its known for. Even the power cable has that huge converter that makes it highly impractical for tight space.

And dont forget that a lot of the selling points (Netflix, etc) in the States are either absent or heavily neutered in Japan. Instead, we have Torne on the PS3, which turns the triple into a TV tuner, not just a glorified Hulu web page. It's much more appealing.

The Japanese don't have anything against American products – like many areas, they're considered special and are generally more expensive. But similarly to how American SUVs don't fit on Japanese roads, our consoles don't fit into Japanese entertainment centers (though admittedly more metaphorically than physically).
Goes against my experience. I wouldn't call it racism but the Japanese can be very set in their ways with certain things. Where they are open minded towards certain ideas they can be very close minded to others. As long as Sony and Nintendo maintain their reputations and identities then MS is never going to be able to compete with a similar product. Not without doing something crazy like buying up half of the major game companies or something like that.