Mega Man mastermind Keiji Inafune outlines why he believes the Xbox 360 failed in Japan
The Xbox 360 hasn’t failed in many areas. It’s a massive system that’s dominated the U.S. and European markets for years now, and the next-gen version of this brand is certainly going to contend head-to-head with Sony’s Playstation 4, but there’s one specific area that the Xbox 360 failed in that many of our industry’s top analysts can’t collectively figure out why: Japan. According to recent numbers, the Xbox 360 is projected to fail to hit the two million mark with consoles sold, which the original Xbox surpassed years ago. So, once again, why?
In an interview with IGN, famous Japanese game creator Keiji Inafune – the mind behind Mega Man and the upcoming Vita game Soul Sacrifice – commented on why he thinks Microsoft's system failed to catch on in Japan.
“When I was working at Capcom, I supported Xbox 360 all I could,” Inafune told IGN. “I love PlayStation, but I also enjoy Xbox and I think it’s not a bad console personally. I understand Japanese users don’t prefer Xbox 360, but if I was asked why, I wouldn’t be able to put a finger on it.
Probably one of the reasons is because PlayStation is a domestic brand in Japan,” he continued. “As a Japanese [person], I think it’s only natural you feel closer or attached more to domestic products and I find myself being that way too. When you see two products with similar features and one is from your own country and the other is from foreign countries, it’s easy to pick the one from your own country.
From this perspective, Xbox is made by Microsoft in the US, so it’s not a domestic product. It’s only natural that you want to support your domestic products. If there were more Xbox-exclusive games out there, things may have been different, but usually a title is developed for multiple platforms so that’s not the case.”
The question at this point is unarguably how Microsoft will compete with the Playstation 4, Wii/Wii U, and even the Playstation Vita in a country that’s subtly revealed where their money goes? So we turn to you, our readers; how do you think Microsoft should market their next console to the Japanese consumers? Let us know by commenting below.