The 360 is struggling in Japan. That’s no secret to anyone following the sales data. With the 360 creating a cozy nest of mediocrity at the bottom of the Japanese sales charts week in and week out, you’d think there would be little to celebrate about Microsoft’s position in the Japanese gaming market. Contentment, sure, but celebration?
Not so, says Microsoft’s general manager of Xbox Takashi Sensui. In fact, in a retrospective interview posted on Edge, Sensui believes the Xbox 360 is selling “in a way that consoles never sold before.” So wait, was the 360 secretly the greatest selling console in Japanese history? No, what he meant was that in the past “hardware would sell a huge inventory at launch and then quickly settle down, but seeing how the 360 has expanded its sales every year makes me very happy.”
The 360 may be selling fairly steadily, but a steady rate of underwhelming does not necessarily add up to good. I understand it’s Sensui’s job to paint the 360’s situation in Japan in the brightest light possible, and hitting on the fact that the 360 has a strong JRPG backing is apt, but as it stands the platform has nearly zero chance to become a player of any significance in the region.This isn’t really any fault of the platform or Microsoft, seeing as the company has gone to great lengths in promoting the system and has gotten a surprising amount of Japanese development backing. Even Square Enix seems to be choosing it as the console of choice. It’s just that the Japanese market, for whatever reason, doesn’t seem to want to accept Microsoft’s offering with open arms (well, a courteous bow).