Despite the fact that two major consoles are making their debut this year, Japanese gamers won't have a chance to purchase either, as both PS4 and Xbox One won't be headed to the region until next year.
Microsoft has always struggled in Japan and that will likely continue, but Japanese game developer Keiji Inafune doesn't think the company's next-gen gaming box is necessarily a lost cause in the territory. With regard to Microsoft's decision to bringing Xbox One to Japan at a later date, Inafune told IGN:
I’m not a first-party person, I’m not part of a first-party company, so this can only be what I’m assuming, but if you look at how big the share of the Japanese market is when it comes to consoles now, it’s continually shrinking, to the point where it’s not even over 10 percent.
So having Japan be an afterthought – after Europe and North America – as much as I may not like that as a Japanese creator, it makes sense to prioritize the markets that are naturally going to have a larger installed base and larger sales. Just because it’s Microsoft… I wouldn’t want to count a company out, even if they haven’t had a great track record. It doesn’t mean they automatically fail the next time.
Ultimately, he concluded, Microsoft's success in Japan will come down to "how they’re able to market it and how they’re able to convince gamers that they have the content they want."
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