Xbox360 Top50 Lifetime in Japan (Through to 2007 Dec 9th)

duckroll

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I think Microsoft being a non-Japanese company has everytime to do with the failure of the Xbox and the Xbox360 in Japan. But it's not that the company is not Japanese in origin, but it's that the way it does business, even IN Japan, is as far from Japanese standards, culture and understanding as possible

Microsoft's failure is that it doesn't understand Japan one bit, and doesn't seem to want to learn how to be more Japanese while operating in Japan. Simply moneyhatting games that are Japanese in origin isn't going to do jack shit unless you know WHY the Japanese like those games in the first place.
 

sakuragi

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The Experiment said:
Got a better reason? I'm all ears.
This topic is done to death already. Is Apple a Japanese company or something? Because I could have sworn I saw long lines of Japanese waiting to get their hands on the Ipod when it was launched there, even though they have superior mobile phones that have similar functions to the ipod.
 

Jonnyram

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Devil's advocate time...

cvxfreak said:
Lots of non-Japanese companies are successful in Japan and a day on the streets of Tokyo prove this. McDonalds, Starbucks, Louis Vuitton, Coach, Burberry and Apple's products are all quite ubiquitous and a part of everyday Japanese consumerist life. So's Microsoft with Windows, actually.
McDonalds and Starbucks are both franchises owned by Japanese people in Japan. Vuitton, Coach, Burberry and Apple are all "cool" at least. They have good design ideas, Microsoft does not. Microsoft is the leading choice in operating systems. That does not equal cool. Microsoft also dumped the Xbox brand pretty early on in its lifetime, and that's where the bulk of the hatred came from. If they'd dropped the Xbox name, it might have helped a lot.
 

duckroll

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Jonnyram said:
Microsoft also dumped the Xbox brand pretty early on in its lifetime, and that's where the bulk of the hatred came from.
Totally.

If they'd dropped the Xbox name, it might have helped a lot.
Don't agree entirely. It didn't help the Dreamcast at all.
 

manzo

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duckroll said:
Don't agree entirely. It didn't help the Dreamcast at all.
I think it could help. The Xbox as a brand in Japan is pretty stained already.

Microsoft also needs need marketing. The current marketing is so fucking bad that it's not even funny.
 

cvxfreak

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Jonnyram said:
Devil's advocate time...

McDonalds and Starbucks are both franchises owned by Japanese people in Japan. Vuitton, Coach, Burberry and Apple are all "cool" at least. They have good design ideas, Microsoft does not. Microsoft is the leading choice in operating systems. That does not equal cool. Microsoft also dumped the Xbox brand pretty early on in its lifetime, and that's where the bulk of the hatred came from. If they'd dropped the Xbox name, it might have helped a lot.
None of this really has anything to do with xenophobia, though. :p

Foreign companies have been successful in Japan by making the right connections (McDonalds and Starbucks), and/or the right choices (the designer brands + Apple). Japan is by far the biggest market for Vuitton, and even companies such as Omega.
 

Jonnyram

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duckroll said:
Don't agree entirely. It didn't help the Dreamcast at all.
Did Dreamcast die because of Sega or did Dreamcast die because of PS2. It's a difficult one to call. Sega's business decisions clearly didn't help much, though. Oh wait... same applies to Xbox too. Oops.
 

sakuragi

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manzo said:
I think it could help. The Xbox as a brand in Japan is pretty stained already.

Microsoft also needs need marketing. The current marketing is so fucking bad that it's not even funny.
The Xbox 360 not selling well outside of the US isn't exactly a phenomena that is exclusive to Japan. Outside of the UK, the Xbox 360 isn't doing too hot in Europe either. The Xbox brand in like a baby compared to both Nintendo and Sony which is understandable since it has a history of less than 7 years.
 

Yoshichan

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I feel embarrassed when watching this...
 

duckroll

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sakuragi said:
The Xbox 360 not selling well outside of the US isn't exactly a phenomena that is exclusive to Japan. Outside of the UK, the Xbox 360 isn't doing too hot in Europe either. The Xbox brand in like a baby compared to both Nintendo and Sony which is understandable since it has a history of less than 7 years.
Comparing how the Xbox360 is doing in Europe with how it's doing in Japan is just.... :lol
 

Bren McGuire

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When you ask the average Japanese person on the street, where the best handbags, fast food or movies come from, they might say America instead of Japan. Now if you ask them, where the best video games and systems come from, they will say Japan. That's what Microsoft is up against. It's like trying to sell foreign beer in Germany. People will just not accept it.
 
S

Shepherd

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L0st Id3ntity said:
That's really just sad. :/

It's about what CoD 4 sold last month in the U.S on X360 alone. :lol
The PS3 software to date is at 2.8 Million with a hardware base of 1.5 Million. The 360 software to date is 1.8 Million with a hardware base of 500,000.
 

Piper Az

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I picked out the games that should have sold much better in Japan, if they weren't for the 360 (yup, I think there's unreasonable bias against the system in Japan)
01. Blue Dragon - 203,740
02. Dead or Alive 4 - 108,618
03. Ace Combat 6 - 83,045
04. Halo 3 - 82,987
05. Ridge Racer 6 - 73,501
06. The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion - 72,274
07. Trusty Bell - 70,244
08. Gears of War - 68,270
09. Dead Rising - 68,078
10. Lost Planet - 61,555

11. DEAD OR ALIVE Xtreme 2 60544
12. Lost Odyssey - 60,376
13. Idolm@ster - 48,695
14. Dynasty Warriors 6 - 44,292
15. Assasin's Creed - 41,436
16. Ninetynine Nights - 38,019
17. Forza Motorsports - 2 31,255
18. Rumble Roses XX - 29,187
19. Crackdown - 28,588
20. Culdcept Saga - 27,960

21. Earth Defense Force 3 - 27,087
22. Perfect Dark Zero - 26,085
23. Test Drive Unlimited - 25,788
24. PGR3 - 25,058
25. Beautiful Katamari - 24,186
26. World Soccer Winning Eleven X - 21,904
27. Armored Core 4 - 21,096
28. Dead Rising (Xbox 360 Platinum Collection) - 20,325 (total sales 88,313)
29. [eM] eNCHANT arM - 20,233
30. Saint's Row - 18,593

31. Rainbow Six Vegas - 18,592
32. Oneechanbara vorteX - 18,443
33. Need For Speed Most Wanted - 17,973
34. Bulletwitch - 16,241
35. Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2 - 15,994
36. PlayOnline/Final Fantasy XI All-in-One Pack 2006 - 15,754
37. World Soccer Winning Eleven 2008 - 15,090
38. Idolm@ster (Xbox 360 Platinum Collection) - 14,864 (total sales 63,559)
39. Earth Defense Force 3 (Xbox 360 Platinum Collection) - 14,707 (total sales 41,794)
40. Final Fantasy XI Wings of the Goddess Expansion - 14,412

41. Call of Duty 3 - 14,194
42. Virtua Fighter 5 Live Arena - 13,169
43. Chrome Hounds - 13,110
44. Tenchu Z - 12,974
45. Project Sylpheed - 12,283
46. PGR 4 - 12,237
47. Viva Pinata - 12,184
48. Godfather - 11,670
49. Dynasty Warriors 5 Special - 10,957
50. Bulletwitch (Xbox360 Platinum Collection) - 10,857 (total sales 27,098)


Total sales, top 50 X360 software, lifetime: 1,818,924 units
 

Piper Az

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aeolist said:
This is the best analogy for it I've heard so far.
Sorry, but last time I heard, Apple's iPod is pretty darn popular in Japan. MS simply screwed up somewhere, somehow. I think duckroll maybe right - MS does not understand the Japanses videogame culture.
 

Shamrock

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FootNinja said:
why are those a-holes not buying LO :\

Because of the 3RLOD debacle. The Japanese don't have nearly as many good games for their market/tastes as America/Europe. We all know the hardware is/was shitty, but it has the best games library so most fans put up with it. However in Japan they don't like the same games as we do so obviously for them there is less reason to put up with shitty hardware.
 

harSon

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Piper Az said:
Sorry, but last time I heard, Apple's iPod is pretty darn popular in Japan. MS simply screwed up somewhere, somehow. I think duckroll maybe right - MS does not understand the Japanses videogame culture.
Theres obviously going to be an exception, more times then not an American electronic is going to fail in Japan.
 

duckroll

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Jonnyram said:
Lost Odyssey has about 4 days of sales on these charts, so some of the conclusions are a little off, I'd say.
Well I think the conclusion that it'll easily outsell at least Trusty Bell is spot on. But beyond that it's questionable considering the price is already dropping in Japan. I guess at best they can eventually drop the price more and sell out the initial shipment, doing close to 100k maybe? I don't think there's any question that the game has failed pretty badly in Japan. :(
 

Piper Az

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harSon said:
Theres obviously going to be an exception, more times then not an American electronic is going to fail in Japan.
I would say much of those failures are due to the fact that Japanses electronic products are simply better than American counterparts...I mean trying comparing Sony HDTVs to whatever American HDTVs; samething applies to all other stuff (video, audio, other gadgets). Now iPod is not an exception due to some weird coincidence - it's a very good mp3 player that can compete with whatever Sony or Panasonic can throw out there. Plus Apples does a great job at marketing. Similarly, the 360 is an outstanding console. It sure has more or comparable features than the PS3 (minus the Blu-ray capability). So, I don't understand why Japanese don't like the console outright unless it's some weird nationalistic bias or that MS just shot itself in the foot over and over again somehow.
 

starship

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Sean said:
Blue Dragon sold extremely well in Japan (for an Xbox 360 game). I think that's like a 50% attach rate isn't it?
Sonic for N-Gage sold extremely well too, I think it had an attach rate of more than 50%.
 

Busaiku

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Jonnyram said:
Lost Odyssey has about 4 days of sales on these charts, so some of the conclusions are a little off, I'd say.
Yes, but in the next week, it completely fell off the top 30.
 

icecream

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klee123 said:
I dunno, considering that a lot of developers bitch about the rising development costs of this generation, you'd assume consoles like the 360/PS3 would be way out of reach for a lot of small companies.
Cue the MS developing incentives and ease of development.

Piper Az said:
I picked out the games that should have sold much better in Japan, if they weren't for the 360 (yup, I think there's unreasonable bias against the system in Japan)

Idolm@ster
Considering the average for such types of games, that's really decent. Not to mention the incredible Live sales.
 

Sho_Nuff82

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Givent the amount of Japanese-centric games, moneyhatted or otherwise, the attach rate is terrible (barely 3.5) compared to the US (just over 6). I don't think you can really call Japanese 360 owners 'hardcore' gamers.
 

ThirdEye

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Sho_Nuff82 said:
Givent the amount of Japanese-centric games, moneyhatted or otherwise, the attach rate is terrible (barely 3.5) compared to the US (just over 6). I don't think you can really call Japanese 360 owners 'hardcore' gamers.
It's that 6 is too good actually.
 

Pachinko

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So if the japanese 360 owner attach rate is terrible at nearly 4 games per system then where does that leave the ps3 with only 2 games per system? Wretched? "couldn't be worse" ?

In the US there are about 1 million hardcore gamers that buy lots of software everyyear and over 3 or 4 years likely own every system atleast once. In japan there's only around 350 to 400,000 of these same gamers and they don't buy as many games as we do becuase the used gaming market in japan is HUUUUGE so although it looks like they buy 4 games each they likely trade those 4 off to buy someone elses 3 or 4.


It's not really a big suprise that the system isn't doing terribly well. It should have just launched with blue dragon for the equivalent of 300 dollars a month or 2 before the ps3 came out and more then the rest of the world the systems shipped there should have been 100% gaurunteed against failure and tested up the wazoo so none of them would break. Even better they should have offered a trade up program exclusive to japan where anyone that owned an xbox 1 for 12 months or less could trade it's purchase price in towards a 360 , 24 months for 50% and 36 months + for 3 free games. Also make xbox live free in japan for the first million accounts signed up. Sure MS would have taken a bath, sure the rest of the world would be annoyed that they would be paying nearly twice as much for all of this stuff but if MS wanted to succeed over there and sell a million consoles in a year that would have atleast helped. As it stands I can't see lifetime sales exceeding 1 million.

A little bit of further ranting, I'd estimate that doing the above campaign would have cost microsoft 500 million dollars but it could reasonably be assumed that every game on that list may have potentially sold double and a million owners is a little harder to ignore then 500,000. Also with that initial installed base in place the system may have gone on to sell 1-2 million more over the the other years of it's life and in the end perhaps MS would break even in japan and establish a better name for itself.
 

LiveFromKyoto

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CowboyAstronaut said:
200k for Blue Dragon in Japan is incredible not terrible.
No, it was an epic failure for Microsoft & Mistwalker. Tens of millions of dollars went into the game and its promotion, and they spent that money because it was supposed to drive 360 adoption in Japan. By that standard it didn't even do half what they were hoping for. They lost tons on it.
 

icecream

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LiveFromKyoto said:
No, it was an epic failure for Microsoft & Mistwalker. Tens of millions of dollars went into the game and its promotion, and they spent that money because it was supposed to drive 360 adoption in Japan. By that standard it didn't even do half what they were hoping for. They lost tons on it.
Sakaguichi said once in an interview that if BD did over 200K, he'd be impressed. I'm sure everyone had realistic expectations for the game in Japan.
 

LiveFromKyoto

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duckroll said:
I think Microsoft being a non-Japanese company has everytime to do with the failure of the Xbox and the Xbox360 in Japan. But it's not that the company is not Japanese in origin, but it's that the way it does business, even IN Japan, is as far from Japanese standards, culture and understanding as possible

Microsoft's failure is that it doesn't understand Japan one bit, and doesn't seem to want to learn how to be more Japanese while operating in Japan. Simply moneyhatting games that are Japanese in origin isn't going to do jack shit unless you know WHY the Japanese like those games in the first place.
It's also because those Japanese games that do hit the mark are just a smattering and not enough to grab anyone but the hardcore. When I walk into a Japanese game store and see the 360 shelf I see a bunch of cold looking gangsta games, obscure FPSes and foreign sports licenses. It feels just like going into an EB in Los Angeles and seeing a bunch of Euro games on the shelf would. If half the 360 games on US shelves were Karl-Heinz Ruminegge's Eurojoy Soccer Festa or whatever US gamers would turn their noses up at it too, even if Gears of War was sitting in the middle of the shelf.
 

LiveFromKyoto

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icecream said:
Sakaguichi said once in an interview that if BD did over 200K, he'd be impressed. I'm sure everyone had realistic expectations for the game in Japan.
MS gave Mistwalker $50 million for Lost Odyssey & Blue Dragon. If you think they spent $25 million expecting 200k you're nuts. Or they were. One of the two.
 

duckroll

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LiveFromKyoto said:
MS gave Mistwalker $50 million for Lost Odyssey & Blue Dragon. If you think they spent $25 million expecting 200k you're nuts. Or they were. One of the two.
He's right though. Sakaguchi has said time and time again BEFORE Blue Dragon came out. If it does 100k, he's happy. He even said that Microsoft is expecting 200k eventually, and he'll be happy if it hits that. Considering MS didn't even bother promoting Blue Dragon in the US, we have to conclude based on the facts that those are the realistic expectations of the companies involved. If MS felt it wasn't doing enough in Japan, they would have promoted the game more in the US! So maybe they're nuts, after all, they ARE the ones failing in Japan, not us. :p
 

medrew

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schuelma said:
I really don't understand this line.
Software sales are terrible across the board. If you're not releasing for 360 based on these numbers then you might as well not release for PS3 and Wii as well then.
 

Firestreak

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I think the 360 has 4 major things going against it.

-Brand loyalty, which I think is more important here than nationalism in this case.

-Online, I don't think that the Japanese are as interested in online as the US market, especially voice chat.

-Game types, the 360, and PS3 for this matter, has a whole lot of shooters which isn't the most popular genre over there.

-THIS POINT IS NEVER BROUGHT UP: Technical reliability. In America many forgive the 360's technical failings because of love for the game library, and are willing to buy replacement machines or call it "no problem" when MS fixes them for free. In Japan it's not easily forgiven and they won't tolerate a console of the Xbox's quality.
 

LiveFromKyoto

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duckroll said:
He's right though. Sakaguchi has said time and time again BEFORE Blue Dragon came out. If it does 100k, he's happy. He even said that Microsoft is expecting 200k eventually, and he'll be happy if it hits that. Considering MS didn't even bother promoting Blue Dragon in the US, we have to conclude based on the facts that those are the realistic expectations of the companies involved. If MS felt it wasn't doing enough in Japan, they would have promoted the game more in the US! So maybe they're nuts, after all, they ARE the ones failing in Japan, not us. :p
You know, now that you mention it I remember reading those interviews, so I apologize, icecream. But I also remember the interviews with - was it Peter Moore? Where he said something along the lines of "if Blue Dragon doesn't succeed there then I don't know what we have to do." Whatever Sakaguchi said they were clearly counting on Mistwalker being the ones to break the dam. Is 200k a success? For a normal game, but even if they figured Mistwalker was a loss leader you can't really say they've done what they were supposed to.
 

Rhindle

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p3tran said:
best beer ain't german
That kind of proves his point. It's almost impossible to buy a non-Germnan beer in Germany. And that's not due to Germans being "xenophobic" or whatever, it's just that they're trained not to accept anything else in that product category.

A closer analogy would be movies in the US. Foreign pictures have no chance of breaking out beyond the Art theatre niche in the US, even though there's mass-market acceptance of Japanese videogames and anime. Japan is the exact opposite.

I think that's precisely what's going on with videogames in Japan. It's not an Xbox thing. Almost all Western releases on Sony and Nintendo platforms bomb as well. Anything associated with a Western brand is presumptively unacceptable.
 

duckroll

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LiveFromKyoto said:
But I also remember the interviews with - was it Peter Moore? Where he said something along the lines of "if Blue Dragon doesn't succeed there then I don't know what we have to do."
Maybe that's why he quit! :lol
 

icecream

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LiveFromKyoto said:
Is 200k a success? For a normal game, but even if they figured Mistwalker was a loss leader you can't really say they've done what they were supposed to.
Now you've come to the point that we've been sitting at for a while. Is 200K for a next-gen RPG good, or is it bad? We don't know. There are no other sales that even come close on either the PS3 or the 360 to correlate from. Which is why WKS will be an interesting case, since it is a highly-regarded JRPG exclusive for the PS3. If it completely outsells BD, then we can regard BD and all other JRPG sales as poor and a result of the platform choice.

However, if it doesn't do well, then it's perhaps disturbing news for next-gen JRPGs all around not named Final Fantasy.
 

duckroll

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icecream said:
Now you've come to the point that many of us have been sitting at for a while. Is 200K for a next-gen RPG good, or is it bad? We don't know. There are no other sales that even come close on either the PS3 or the 360 to correlate from. Which is why WKS will be an interesting case, since it is a highly-regarded JRPG exclusive for the PS3. If it completely outsells BD, then we can regard BD and all other JRPG sales as poor and a result of the platform choice.

However, if it doesn't do well, then it's perhaps disturbing news for next-gen JRPGs all around not named Final Fantasy.
Well, we don't have to look to next-gen JRPGs. JRPGs are just games like any other genre. They cost money to make and need to turn a profit. BD is unique in the sense that it seems the people involved didn't mind if it didn't turn a profit. On the other hand, that doesn't mean the genre in general is immune to that.

200k for a JRPG is fine if we're looking at how profitable games like Persona 3 and the Suikodens do on the PS2. But factoring in the production, development and marketing costs, 200k does seem rather low. Let's compare it with games with much lower budgets and less marketing.

Trusty Bell = 80k
[eM] = 20k

That's pretty terrible, since man DS RPGs from Marvelous and Success can usually get about the same amount of sales.

Lost Odyssey is the next heavy hitting on the 360 after Blue Dragon, and it has performed at about that level. What does this say about Blue Dragon's success is expanding the 360 userbase in Japan? I agree that in that aspect they have failed.

I don't expect White Knight Story to move any magical numbers at all in Japan. It's a Level 5 RPG, and their track record for original RPGs on the PS2 were already really weak. Rogue Galaxy didn't even break 400k in Japan, so why would anyone expect their PS3 RPG to hit 200k?

I think a far better example will be Disgaea 3. It's not a big budget game by any means, and it's a niche/average seller on the PS2 (100-200k) which is what most JRPGs/SRPGs are these days anyway. If it can do close to 100k or over that, then there's definitely a future for JRPGs and SRPGs on next-gen, because publishers will be able to survive like they did on the PS2. If it bombs with under 50k sales on the other hand, yeah things won't be looking so good anymore.