Microsoft Japan: Releasing Xbox One 'as is would be difficult'
Microsoft's all-in-one entertainment hub -- aka the Xbox One -- may be a nice fit for people in America and other western markets, but when it comes to non-western markets, like Japan, the company might have to rethink some things. This is according to Microsoft Japan CEO Yasuyuki Higuchi who admitted launching the Xbox One "as is" in Japan would be "difficult."
“(Xbox One) is geared towards a Western lifestyle, and we’re looking at whether or not to launch it ‘as is’ in Japan,” Higuchi told 4gamer.net.
“We’re still figuring out how to deal with things like music and video services in each country. To be honest, (releasing it in Japan) as is would be difficult.”
Part of the problem in the Xbox One's marketing is how different the Japanese lifestyle is from western countries -- especially the use of a living room. In America, gaming is popular in the living room, but in Japan most gamers tend to stay in the more private confines of their bedroom. Because many tend to live at home in Japan until they are married, gaming in the living room just isn't an option.
The other part of the problem lies in the type of entertainment the Xbox One offers. A focus on live sports TV elements and fantasy football may be popular here in America, but Higuchi believes the Xbox One's entertainment offerings must be tailored for Japan.
"It’s a matter of how much we can do before the timing of Xbox One’s (release),” he said.
“We have to prepare content that is relevant to Japan. ‘What is the best, what will today’s consumers in Japan respond to? What content is in demand?’ We’re considering these questions now. There’s no point in a solution that does not match the market. Even if we bring NFL (on board for Japan), haha… Japan is difficult. I’m almost tempted to ask for ideas.”
The question is just how much will Japan being a "Tier 2" country affect the Xbox One? As it is now, the Xbox 360 is hardly embraced over there, which could be why Microsoft is focusing on more western countries like the U.S. and Europe.