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360 Launches In Japan

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the probably-less-stress-there dept.

XBox (Games) 81

Gamespot reports that the 360 sold out ... at the Shibuya 'official' launch location. Sales from the rest of the country still have to come in, but given launch day experiences, I imagine the customer reaction wasn't as fierce as it was here. From the Kotaku on-hand piece: "A customer! I see a customer! It's a few minutes after seven, and somebody else has come to wait for the Xbox. I feel like a sailor who's been lost at sea and finally spots land. He stands in front of Sofmap for a moment, awkwardly, and he looks around. Nobody but him and me and the vending machine. I make a quick inventory: tall, painfully thin, wearing a brown coat, black and grey backpack, looks like Ichabod Crane."

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I like vending machines.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14229556)

I wonder if ye old BBQ starter zap to the coin slot works on vending machines selling xboxen..

Role reversal (0, Redundant)

PurifyYourMind (776223) | more than 8 years ago | (#14229562)

Normally isn't it Japan who gets all the video game-related tech first? Is it different because Microsoft is primarily a U.S. company?

Re:Role reversal (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14229592)

I hope that was a rhetorical question.

Re:Role reversal (1)

DarkEnder (915573) | more than 8 years ago | (#14229598)

Yeah, but the Japanese aren't so hot about buying things that benefit another country. They take business very seriously.

Re:Role reversal (3, Interesting)

bugbread (599172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230986)

Japanese couldn't care less about what country a purchase benefits. They stick to products manufactured by Japanese companies (even if the manufacturing is done overseas) because overseas companies often have shitty quality control, and thus tend to break. Sure, some Japanese companies also produce defective products, but the ratio is way, way lower than for American companies.

If a product has a good quality record, Japanese will buy it, regardless of the fact that it benefits other countries. Leica cameras, Harley Davidson bikes, Bose speakers, Apple iPods, BMW cars.

So, yeah, Japanese take business very seriously. And they take quality control very seriously. But they don't take deciding what country their purchases benefit very seriously. They leave that to Americans waving flags and holding placards saying "Buy American!".

Re:Role reversal (2, Insightful)

RoadDoggFL (876257) | more than 8 years ago | (#14232002)

Last I checked, the Xbox was far more durable than the PS2, and the GC's nearly indestructible. So how can the Japanese value quality when the PS2 outsold the others by such a huge margin?

Re:Role reversal (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14235166)

Well, 2 things:

1) The trend I'm talking about is a general trend. I don't mean to indicate that Japanese base all individual purchases at all based on durability tests, just that their general purchasing decisions are based on general product durability, which is why they tend to go with Japanese products. It isn't xenophobia, but bad experience in the past.
2) When the XBox came out, there was a big hubbub about disc scratching, and XBox Japan's initial response was "It's no big deal, just ignore it". That really really damaged the reputation of XBox right at the start, when it was most crucial.

Again, what I'm talking about isn't written in stone. The PSP had problems when it was released, yet is selling OK (not as well as it would have otherwise, but still well). I just meant to point out that Japanese folks will tend to avoid Product A if from overseas, not because they are concerned about making sure their money goes into Japanese pockets and stays away from Japanese devils, but because overseas products break a lot more. An overseas product with a proven track record doesn't get that stigma.

Re:Role reversal (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14235214)

Sorry, "goes into Japanese pockets and stays away from Japanese devils" should be "goes into Japanese pockets and stays away from Foreign devils". It's early in the morning here, I need my coffee.

Re:Role reversal (1)

RoadDoggFL (876257) | more than 8 years ago | (#14235257)

Whether or not the stigma of American products is because of product quality, it's still there. MS really did a lot of things right with the Xbox (again, only to screw up with the 360) and got hardly any love at all from Japan. It sucks and saying "it's only because products from overseas are generally lower quality" doesn't justify anything, really...

But that's not to say I'm implying that you tried to justify it. Just making a point.

Re:Role reversal (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14237725)

Your point is well taken.

Re:Role reversal (1)

apoc06 (853263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14239230)

the xbox is equally as prone to issues as the ps2. they both suffer from the same problems. faulty dvd drives, bad power cords... etc. no big deal. the xbox userbase is much smaller, so if the percentages are kept the same, you have a closely equivilent number of problems.

with the playstation you have a name that people have come to rely on for gaming. same with nintendo. even if their system was inferior, people will still purchase it because inferior software or not, they know that with the nintendo name attached, they will get a certain level of entertainment, quality and enjoyment out of it. xbox was the new player in town. people didnt know what to expect from the system. unfortunately, they didnt cater well to the market. therefore its not a surprise that people arent looking forward to the second iteration of a system that did not have very many games that japanese players enjoyed.

Re:Role reversal (1)

RoadDoggFL (876257) | more than 8 years ago | (#14240087)

I was specifically refering to durabilty [google.com] .

Yes, the Playstation brand played a very large roll in the PS2's success, but what's this comment about the GC being inferior? Also, the software library is mostly out of the console manufacturer's hands (unless it's something like Nintendo was back with the NES-N64), so it really says nothing about the quality of the hardware. Anyway, I mostly just wanted to post the link.

Re:Role reversal (1)

apoc06 (853263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14240998)

just a reference to the commonly held believe that the GC's software library [in US eyes] is inferior in comparison to the xbox and ps2. their firsty party titles are generally excellent, but there were relatively few and far in between. there wasnt as much diversity in their genres and age ranges. there were few third party titles and a large portion of those were not exclusive.

Re:Role reversal (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 8 years ago | (#14232316)

f a product has a good quality record, Japanese will buy it, regardless of the fact that it benefits other countries. Leica cameras, Harley Davidson bikes, Bose speakers, Apple iPods, BMW cars.

You had to go throw in Bose, didn't you? If what you say is true, then quality has nothing to do with it. Even Sony's crap-ass speakers sound better than Bose, and cost less too. But then you probably have a Bose system, don't you? I'm sorry. I take it back. Bose is the best in the world, and you sure got a deal buying that $3000 satellite system that sounds just like my own $500 Definitive system [1]. Kudos to you!

Not that everything Bose does is bad. They used to make bookshelf and floor speakers a couple decades ago that weren't so bad. Of course, even those cost 2 to 3 times as much as competitive models from other brands.

[1] Yes, I have a crappy satellite speakers + powered sub home theater system. Yes, I know satellite speakers suck. However, I didn't pay $3000 for the system, either. Speakers + receiver (supporting both DD5.1 and DTS) + progressive scan DVD player cost me less than $900 (because the DVD player was bought years ago when progressive scan players still went for $400-$500). Compared to the cheapest 5.1 DVD system from Bose, that's a $1400 savings. And my system is upgradeable. I can replace my DVD player any time I like without having to also replace my receiver. Vice versa, I can replace my receiver without replacing my DVD player. And of course I can change out my speakers any time I like.

Yes, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14232836)

It looks like ass.

Re:Role reversal (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14235191)

You had to go throw in Bose, didn't you? If what you say is true, then quality has nothing to do with it. Even Sony's crap-ass speakers sound better than Bose, and cost less too. But then you probably have a Bose system, don't you?

When I say "quality", I really mean "freedom from product failures". I.e. products not breaking.

Regarding Bose: yes, I know, "If it has no highs and has no lows, it must be Bose". And, no, I don't have a Bose system, never have, and have heard enough bad stuff about their audio quality that I never plan to. So your guess was a bit off base. But, regardless, when I say "Japanese consumers care more about quality than nationality", I should have phrased it "Japanese consumers care more about their products not breaking on them than nationality".

hahaha. You're funny (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14232795)

"because overseas companies often have shitty quality control, and thus tend to break."

You mean like Sony stuff?

PS2 - drive problems at launch. There's even a class action lawsuit ongoing against the company over the problems.
PSP - the screen problems are/were legendary. Is "8 burned out pixels is normal", the new Japanese mantra of quality?

What you're trying to say is the Japanese love quality products, but they tend to give local companies the benefit of the doubt. Otherwise, Sony would be out of business.

Like I said, you're funny.

Re:hahaha. You're funny (1)

bugbread (599172) | more than 8 years ago | (#14235231)

Well, if you wanted me to go really in depth, what I would have said was "Japanese love quality products, and tend to give companies the benefit of the doubt if they have good track records, even if the good part of the track record is so old that it should probably be ignored by now". Sony made great stuff a decade or more ago. They still do, in some fields. In other fields, they make products that break annoyingly all the damn time (PS2 launch probs, PSP, Vaio computers, etc). If they were a new Japanese company, they'd never take off. But they have their old track record to rely on.

So, no, I don't think it's that people give them the benefit of the doubt because they're local, but because they used to not make shitty products. It's a lousy reason to give the benefit of the doubt (after all, they do make lousy products now), but it isn't about keeping consumer money out of foreign pockets, from what I can see.

Re:Role reversal (1)

damsa (840364) | more than 8 years ago | (#14231929)

Japan got the Nintendo DS second, and also Nintendo Wifi network after the American and European release. I am now wondering if Nintendo will release the Revolution in the US first as well.

Japanese psychology (1)

pocopoco (624442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14229608)

That picture he takes makes the area look pretty empty. I would actually be scared of another person being around while getting something that expensive from a vending machine. It doesn't take long to hold a knife on someone and grab it. Guess Japan is not like NYC.

Re:Japanese psychology (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14229765)

Japan has very low crime rates and high "solution" rates (almost all cases are solved though there are claims that policemen just arrest someone at random if they can't find the criminal).

Crime is low (1)

gullevek (174152) | more than 8 years ago | (#14232636)

unless you are a 6-12 year old girl. Three were murdered in very short time now. Sad thing.

Re:Japanese psychology (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14235792)

No, the police here will just find someone and force them to confess to it basically - just wearing you out until you confess.

Re:Japanese psychology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14229911)

The gacha gacha machine was there so people who bought a 360 could win prizes.

Little known facts. Gacha gacha machines are the japanese equivelent to capsule toys here in the US. Although, like with crane games (UFO catcher in Japan) the US gets completed smashed in this territory.

In Japan (Nippon in Japanese (Nihongo in Nihongo)) gacha gacha machines have toys from anime and videogames in there. UFO catchers face a simmilar fate. Here we have cheaply made crappy stuffed animals. In Japan UFO catchers are filled with high quality video game and anime characters.

More little known facts, we actually have gacha gacha machines in the US actually named gacha gacha machines. Though they pale in comparison to the Japanese machines they still feature more than very crappy toys. I believe they were brought over by Disney and I have never seen any other tie-in's except with Nintendo and Pokemon.

Really too bad. With anime mania going in the US people buy the UFO catcher toys off ebay for insane prices. Someone could make a lot of money setting up a couple in an anime centric locale.

Re:Japanese psychology (4, Interesting)

badasscat (563442) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230025)

That picture he takes makes the area look pretty empty. I would actually be scared of another person being around while getting something that expensive from a vending machine.

Er, well for one, I hope you're not under the impression he was going to buy an Xbox 360 from a vending machine. The vending machine was incidental to the story. The guy was standing outside of Softmap, a computer/electronics store. There happened to be a vending machine there.

Guess Japan is not like NYC.

Not withstanding my comments above, though, people do buy expensive things from vending machines there - just not as part of this story.

No, Japan is not like NYC. There's crime - more than there used to be - but cops don't even carry guns there. You can walk down the street late at night without worrying about it. You can buy iPods out of isolated vending machines like this and provided you're not some little kid lost in a sea of high school bullies, you don't really have anything to be concerned about.

But this story is about a guy waiting outside of a store looking for customers... he just has a drink vending machine near him.

To get a little bit back on topic, Gamespot today has a glowing report of the sell-out in Shibuya. But honestly, this is one of MS's problems - and it's a problem western sites like Gamespot are all too eager to buy into. That is, Japan is more than Shibuya and Akihabara. Honestly. Yes, these are trendsetting areas for youngsters and tech retail, but it's like having a big launch event in Times Square in NYC and then ignoring the rest of the country and expecting anything to happen. It's just meaningless in the grand scheme of things; most of Japan - and in fact most of Tokyo - pays no attention at all to what goes on in Shibuya. MS wouldn't do that in the US - they have events all over the country, and they sponsor all sorts of things to keep the system in the public eye - but I haven't seen any reports of MS doing this in Japan. I have talked to people who live there who have said all they've seen on TV lately are PS2 and DS commercials, with maybe one or two Xbox 360 commercials really late at night.

It all just gets back to what I still think is a very basic misunderstanding of the Japanese market. Not everybody in Japan is the same and not everybody in Japan buys things just because people in Shibuya or Akihabara buy them. MS is making a huge push to attract a very specific type of customer in one tiny little geographic area in one city in Japan, but that is not going to get them anywhere nationwide.

Re:Japanese psychology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230183)

ah, went back and looked at the pic and you are right, that bottom row isn't a darkened xbox section after all. filename is after the blog post, I guess.

Re:Japanese psychology (1)

Belly (153998) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230668)

Cops don't carry guns here? Not sure where you got that idea. All police on the street here carry guns, and have done so for quite some time.

Sigh. Another uninformed post, assuming that the English language news knows all there is to know about Xbox marketing in Japan.

Its pretty clear that MS was not pushing in just 'one tiny little geographic area' - while they had to do the main launch in one location, Tokyo (for obvious reasons - no matter what you think, people here *do* pay attention to what happens in Tokyo. After all, more than 10% of the population lives there..) MS had events and promotions in most other major cities in Tokyo, including Sapporo, Fukuoka, and Osaka. In addition to promotions which have been travelling around other regional areas prior to launch.
How do I know this? It was all up there for anyone to see on the Xbox Japan website. In Japanese, of course.

Re:Japanese psychology (1)

Belly (153998) | more than 8 years ago | (#14231455)

...other major cities in *Japan*.. Doh.

Re:Japanese psychology (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230917)

cops don't even carry guns there

The Japanese cops around here (near Tokyo) do. Well I can't say they all do, but some of them do (on the odd occasion I've happened to walk behind a cop, I've sometimes noticed "hey, he has a gun!").

You're quite right though, it's very very safe, and probably even safer if you're a foreigner ('cause there's that tiny bit of uncertainty that makes a thief look for an easier target). One of the things that I absolutely love about Tokyo is the ability to wander around completely random areas at 3am without thinking twice about getting killed.

NYC is a wonderful place, but to some degree much of it feels a little off-limits if you're not familiar with all the nuances of not-getting-mugged; Tokyo by contrast feels sort of ... free. It's a nice feeling. I've lived in Japan for a long time, but I guess I'll eventually leave, and that simple feeling is something I'm going to miss a lot.

[Back on topic, the xbox situation in Japan is pretty funny; MS spent vast sums on advertising the original xbox too, and well.. we see where that got them. Then too, they seemed to focus on Shibuya (they completely blanketed the area -- e.g. every lamppost for miles around seemed to be flying a banner screaming "xbox!"); they're clearly convinced they have to capture the eye of trendy youth to succeed, but the xbox itself is fundamentally sort of dorky, so it's not an easy task. I'm not sure how the 360 is going to change that -- it's slightly less dorky than the original xbox, but not to any great degree. Given that, and the fickleness of fashion, I just don't see how this advertising strategy is going to work, but hey it's their money...]

Re:Japanese psychology (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14231090)

The mind boggles at the concept of something too 'dorky' for Japan. As a country, they embody the term.

Probably get slain by Japanese fanboys now, and other various apologists. Oh well.

Re:Japanese psychology (1)

gullevek (174152) | more than 8 years ago | (#14232667)

Not only you can walk around at 3am and not beeing afraid of beeing mugged/stabbed/robbed. You can also carry expensive SLRs with you, without beeing afraid somebody might stab you to get it.

But then again, if you are an foreigner, there are 20 cops watching you anyway. At least foreigners always do something evil, so they have to be watched.

Re:Japanese psychology (1)

apoc06 (853263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14239369)

lol @ foreigners always do something evil. that was hilarious...

wait, you mean that wasnt a joke? oh... my bad...

Re:Japanese psychology (1)

dancingmad (128588) | more than 8 years ago | (#14231294)

Mod parent up.

I was in Ise last month and even though one of Japan's most famous shrines is there, you'd think there is no farther place in the world (or at least in Japan) from the fashionable districts in Tokyo. Slashdot's gaijin patrol thinks that Tokyo culture (especially Akihabara/Shibuya) is all over Japan, but it's not.

And the parent is also right about Microsoft's push in the rest of Japan: they're doing nothing in Kansai for the Xbox360 that I know of. They're ignoring the entire country outside a couple of small (but trendy) neighborhoods in Tokyo - it's like if they advertised and released the 360 only in SoHo.

Re:Japanese psychology (1)

gorim (700913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14231679)

Cops do carry guns, as others pointed out. Not a thing wrong with that either. The biggest crime you have to worry about is pickpockets, especially in Tokyo's crowded Shinjuku area. I have been targeted a few times even. One of those times, at 5am I was sitting against a store front resting off the night and saw a guy scanning the area out of the corner of my eye. When he spotted me he immediately moved towards me to stand near me. He clearly thought I was asleep or nearly so, perhaps drunk. I was neither. I made no reaction other than, out of the corners of eyes, to give him quite the evil "don't mess with me" eye. Once we made eye contact, he decided better of it and walked off to a plaza where many Japanese drunks were passed out. I watched him shake down one poor guy, taking his wallet, and walked away. Rule #1 of partying in Tokyo - never pass out on the streets, and in general always watch out for pickpockets...

Can confirm that (1)

gullevek (174152) | more than 8 years ago | (#14232660)

Since the X-Box announcement. I saw _ONE_ X-Box add in the Train. And not even in the more main line, but in the side line to my appartment. I haven't seen a big add in Shibuya Station, like normal Tech products do (mobile phones, iTunes/iPod, etc). and TV adds are anway outrun 50:1 in favour of the PS2. Actually 90% the game adds are PS2 & PSP. The rest is the rest. And I saw now 1 X-box only add and 2 Perfect Zero adds.

Seriously, fact is, japanese nerds love role playing games, with perfect zero they might catch the 5 foreigners who live here, but not the rest of the japanese guys. I have to say that the add in the train was about FF. But the only thing it states, that now you can see all in HDTV... well, FF sales went down very rapid. Actually the whole Game Console business goes down, because more and more are just playing keitai (mobile) games, and with the latest keitais the games are really good looking already.

Well, thats just my two Yen here. I don't even have an HDTV TV and therefore X-Box is out of interest, plus I have a PS2 and I almost never play with it (time). So I'll watch and see.

Last words, I doubt the PS3 will sell like hot cakes either. That time is long over I think.

Re:Japanese psychology (1)

clambake (37702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14233618)

Guess Japan is not like NYC.

Take it from somone who has lived in both places... After living in Tokyo for three years, New York City seems a little, well, provincial.

Re:Japanese psychology (1)

BTWR (540147) | more than 8 years ago | (#14233863)

After living in Tokyo for three years, New York City seems a little, well, provincial.

Very interesting. Care to elaborate? (I live in NYC). just curious - never been to japan...

Re:Japanese psychology (1)

clambake (37702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14236730)

After living in Tokyo for three years, New York City seems a little, well, provincial.

Very interesting. Care to elaborate? (I live in NYC). just curious - never been to japan...


Well, part of it is simply population. New York has somewhere between 10-20 million people, from what I last remember, while tokyo is closer to 50 million. Until you've seen Shibuya crossing at noon on a weekday, you simply don't understand the meaning of crowded. It's simply surreal. (Another good anecdote, When the apple store first opened in Japan, for example, the line went something like 15 blocks long. You may see crowd in New York from time to time, you you don't see 15-block lines.)

In Tokyo, you really get a sense of how *massive* the city is. From any building downtown you can go to the top floor observation deck and for as far as you can see on the horizon in any direction you see the vast gray sheet of city.

You also get a sense of the magic and energy that just radiates around it. There are clubs in Roppongi that you can go party at, literally, for days because they never close, 24 hours a day, every day. And yet, right behind the neon and garishness you're guaranteed to find a tiny shinto shrine that somehow exists in this gulf of time, where you feel transported back a thousand years... Speed frenzy metropolis on one side of the massive wodden doors and quiet contemplation on the other...

Anyway, just go and spend a year or two there and come back to New York. You'll suddenly wonder where all these hicks came from... God help you if you go to Los Angeles.

Why? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14229784)

?

Anyone?

and now... the RPG's? (1)

AlephZero (640601) | more than 8 years ago | (#14229862)

There is only one way to win the average Japanese Gamer's heart and that is through an RPG. Sure, games like Dead or Alive 4 will have good sales and will motivate the average gamer to purchase a console, but it is through RPG's alone that console sales will flourish. Lacking a mascot flagship character is another fault since possibly the second biggest genre (adventure) is being represented only through Kameo. It seems to me that a company like Square-Enix will play a very large role in deciding the 360's success oversees. If they release all of their major franchises for the 360 I can see the Xbox being a success in Japan and overall finishing with a close second place. If however, the only title being "developed" is Final Fantasy 11, I can expect only the adventurous Japanese gamer biting the bait and another generation of Sony dominating.

Re:and now... the RPG's? (1)

9Nails (634052) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230712)

You are absolutely correct. Even at nearly 20% off the US release price, Japanese do not take up the Xbox 360 as fast as US. Their gamers simply do not care about the games on this console. If Microsoft wants to succeed in Japan, they NEED to OWN Square Enix and re-release the history of Final Fantasy enhanced for 360. And keep the rest of the games as an exclusive to Xbox 360. All the advertising and price drops in the world will not be as effective as a move like that.

Re:and now... the RPG's? (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 8 years ago | (#14231108)

Let's end this misnomer once and for all. Japanese so-called RPGs are nothing of the sort. As a genre, they should be called MIMs (Mildly Interactive Movies) because the role playing involved is as deep as every other character based game in history.

Re:and now... the RPG's? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14234726)

Rail Playing Game has a certain ring to it as well...

The ugly truth (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230096)

You want to know the true reason that the XBOX (and probably the XBOX360) didn't do well in Japan? The Japanese society is an EXTREMELY racist society. They couldn't stomach the idea of actually supporting an American-designed and developed video game system. Trust me, I lived there for several years, and the Japanese are among the most racist bastards I have ever had the misfortune of interacting with.

Of course, you won't see this published in Gamespot, or any other "reputable" game site online. It is true, however. In Japan, if you aren't Japananese you are less than human.

Koreans, on the other hand... very open-minded and friendly people. So it's not all Asians who are racist punks.

Re:The ugly truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14230174)

I spent a few days in Seattle which has a large asian population. It was some of the most extreme racism I had ever experienced. There were businesses where if you werent asian they would stare you down and follow you until you left. Some would not talk to you even when you went to make a purchase or refuse to sell to you. One business told us to, "get out!" I learned quickly to avoid any business run by asians. These businesses weren't located in some obscure part of Seattle but many around Pikes Place Market. I can only imagine what would happen to a white business in America who treated any other nationality that way. Very strange why only certain types of racism are punished or looked down upon.

Re:The ugly truth (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230192)

Interesting, most accounts [outpostnine.com] of Japan show most Japanese as being America-obsessed--I think I'll trust the guy who puts his identity up.

Re:The ugly truth (0, Flamebait)

9Nails (634052) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230727)

Can Japanese be worse than the French?! Shocking.

Re:The ugly truth (1)

earthbound kid (859282) | more than 8 years ago | (#14231150)

This explains why the iTunes Music Store Japan is trouncing Sony: the Japanese are trying to fool us into thinking they've let their guard down. Clever. All too clever.

Re:The ugly truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14232618)

You misunderstood. Many of Japanese like ITMS and abandon Sony.
You should know that most racist peoples are Koreans.
And more...Sony is now under much influence of Samsun=Korea. Oops!

Re:The ugly truth (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14235816)

Apple has a very good rap in Japan, because they appeal to the Japanese perfectionist "must-be-absolutely-faultless-and-aesthetically-pl easing" mindset.

Something which you can't say about Microsoft. MS could elarn something from Apple about how to do business in Japan.

The ugly Korean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14231588)

>Koreans, on the other hand... very open-minded and friendly >people. So it's not all Asians who are racist punks.

Hey you Korean, stop your ugly crusade against Japanese.

Re:The ugly truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14231606)

The 360 just does not appeal enough to Japanese gamer, as well as US ones.

It is not race but your poor social rank you are at.

Re:The ugly truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14232180)

Thanks to Hwang Woo Suk, the typical Korean liar. I'm reading Korean ugliness everyday.
Now, I wanna spit on you.

Re:The ugly truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14232213)

The person who made this topic must be a Korean.

> Koreans, on the other hand... very open-minded and friendly people.

lol
 

Full of lies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14232574)

Do not believe what Koreans say. They are ugly liars.
And they speak ill of Japan everywhere, every BBS in the world!
I can't see what Koreans want to do.
Koreans may believe that they can gain better reputation by diminishing Japan...

For XBOX, maybe people in Japan (including me) are tired of updating hardware.
I think PSX will not be a big seller either.

...what? (1)

LastVanguard (937919) | more than 8 years ago | (#14232591)

Hey,no kidding... oh, Korean? well,Korean people likes to insult to japan very much. For example... they often burn the national flag(japan) as if it is natural. I'm Japanese, so I can't put up with their action any more. At first,I would like to tell you that this oppinion is False. perhaps an EXTEREMELY racist society is Korea, not Japan. because, There are many "No negro allowed" shops there. This korean knows if this information is true or not. To be sure,XBOX360 didn't well in Japan. but the japanese society isn't racist society,either. The soft in XBOX360 is not attractive for japanese. Japanese choose game platform by softs. Maybe Game boy is a good example. After Pokemon was saled, Game boy sold like hot cakes. Next, XBOX360 is too expensive for children. In japan, Adults don't play video game and children have few money. Maybe they will buy Revolution. I hope that microsoft gets many attractive game soft and challenges Japan's market again.

Re:...what? (1)

mowph (642278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14235934)

Next, XBOX360 is too expensive for children.
In japan, Adults don't play video game and children have few money.

I agree that the Xbox 360 will do poorly in Japan, but the price has little to do with that. The Xbox 360 costs just under 40,000 yen, almost exactly the same price as the Playstation 2 at its launch. If this is too expensive, how did the Playstation 2 (39,800 yen) or the original Playstation (also 39,800 yen at launch) ever sell? If anything, 40,0000 yen seems to be the magic price for launching a successful system in Japan. The PS3 is also anticipated to release at about the same price.

You're also forgetting about the otoshidama for New Year's season -- the average 14-year-old Japanese kid will have right around 40,000 yen burning a hole in his or her pocket within a few weeks.

well... (1)

LastVanguard (937919) | more than 8 years ago | (#14246008)

I know what you mean. When PS2 lanches, It was bought by adults. They use it as DVD player, not game platform. Today PS2 is popular among the young people in Japan, not because it isn't made in Japan, but because PS2 isn't very expensive now.(19,800yen) Indeed we(I'm 16 years old) can get much money as otoshidama, but their parents(my parents) don't want children to play video games. so we can hardly spend money for video games.

Re:The ugly truth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14233230)

...as first,I'm Japanese. I can't agree with his analysis.The reason why X BOX 360 don't do well in Japan is not that.The true reason is that,we wait for Play Station 3 and Grand Turismo 5 ,Final Fantasy.I think softwares of Play station 3 will be more attractive than X BOX.If X BOX want to win Play Station ,Microsoft have better to cooperate with SQUARE , KOEI etc. I never select games by products nations.Our nation is not racist society. Sorry for my writing. This issue is not fit for this board.

Size? (1)

miyako (632510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230532)

I doubt that the 360 will do much better than the original xbox in japan, because it seems to have the same problem as it's predecessor, which is to say that the box is about a quarter the size of the average living room in japan.
In a country where melons are grown inside glass boxes so they are rectangular so they can more efficiently fit into the average apartment, and combining a TV with a fridge is a reasonable space-saving appliance, how can the large and unwieldy 360 appeal to consumers there?
I don't think a lot of the games will do it, AFAIK first person shooters are not very popular in japan.
In fact, I think the biggest obstacle is that japanese games are more popular in the west than western games are popular in japan.

Re:Size? (2, Funny)

Jarlsberg (643324) | more than 8 years ago | (#14232109)

Ok, but the Xbox360 is about the same size as the original PS2, and that one sold like crazy in Japan. The original Xbox, now that was an unwieldy beast, but the Xbox360 is very sleek and nowhere near as intrusive as the original Xbox.

Re:Size? (1)

muyuubyou (621373) | more than 8 years ago | (#14233711)

Kudos man, I spit tea out of my nose reading this post.

From someone in Japan, 360 is not popular (2, Interesting)

chrysrobyn (106763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14230859)

I was in Tokyo over Thanksgiving. I saw several 360 displays, all of them were completely empty. My daughter was frustrated that she couldn't play with the DS, but she had to console herself with playing with the vacant 360 display.

I was in Toys R Us in Nagasaki yesterday and there were probably a half dozen of the empty boxes you take up to the register in order to get your gear.

Nobody is talking about the 360 outside of a few neighborhoods in Tokyo -- and those seem to care only after 3pm until midnight (which gives us a clue about the very small demographic they have attracted).

Japanese obviously prefer their own (1)

hyperbotfly (934309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14231148)

The only selling poing for the Xbox 360: Christmas release date. Christmas: an uncelebrated holiday an Japan therefore rendering a Christmas release date irrelevant. In other words, if it wern't for Holiday melee and artificial shortages, would Xbox 360 be flying of the shelves with PS3 a couple of months away? The Japanese reaction proves that the answer is no. Plus the Japanese have the advantage of having proof that the Xbox 360 sucks with all the crashing that has been going on in US 'boxes All this asside from the fact that the Japanese are serious technophiles and have a chauvanist culture to put it lightly.

Re:Japanese obviously prefer their own (1)

dancingmad (128588) | more than 8 years ago | (#14231255)

Are you kidding? I see just as many Christmas decorations here in Japan as I do in the U.S. It may not be celebrated as a religious holiday, but Santa is everywhere in Japan.

You've obviously never been to Kobe Harbor, they have a huge Santa display near the port.

Sales fest (1)

gullevek (174152) | more than 8 years ago | (#14232679)

but its not a fake festival like in the rest of the world. Here its true christmas. About giving expensive presents to other people you don't care all year long.

Long live christmas and funky one-melody-blinking-christmas trees in front of Convenience Stores somewhere in deepest japanese only neighbourhoods.

Rock on japanese christmas!

Re:Japanese obviously prefer their own (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14231641)

The Christmas is an huge event in Japan as well, not religiously at all, it is like anual festival though.
The 360 simplly dosen't present enough reason to buy in Japan, most of people interested in games are waiting PS3, which will be in store next March.

Re:Japanese obviously prefer their own (1)

mowph (642278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14235807)

Christmas: an uncelebrated holiday an Japan therefore rendering a Christmas release date irrelevant.

While only about 0.7% of Japanese people (about one million) are Christians, Christmas is still a major commercial holiday, akin to Valentine's day in North America. Department stores and fast food chains are the two most visible players in the market, but virtually every company out there has a campaign of some sort going. The reason? There is serious money moving around, and every merchandiser wants their share.

Many Japanese employees receive an end-of-year bonus a few weeks before Christmas. As the amount of the bonus is somewhat arbitrary and completely unannounced, very few people do serious winter shopping before the bonus. The bonus is a lot more than just a little tip of the hat from your company -- it's often the bosses' way of saying thanks for "work performance" (i.e. unpaid overtime and slavish devotion to the workplace). Bonuses range between one and three months' salary, often the equivalent of $US 4,000 to $15,000. (There is another bonus in June.)

Let's also not forget that the major Japanese winter holiday, Shougatsu (New Year Holidays), is also just around the corner. The ever-practical Japanese tradition is to give cash in special envelopes to children. This gives the average kid the equivalent of $US400 to $500 of highly disposable income just one week after Christmas.

This said, you don't see too many brand new product lines coming out around Christmas. (The only major late winter console releases that come to mind were the Dreamcast and the original X-Box.) The problem with doing the initial release of a new product at Christmas in Japan is that it's likely to be overwhelmed and lost in the frenzy of promotions. It's literally impossible to make something really stand out in an electronics store that is already swamped with hundreds of spokesladies in neon jackets and elf hats.

The 360's failed in Japan. (4, Interesting)

dancingmad (128588) | more than 8 years ago | (#14231277)

Ah, we talk about the Japanese market, and Slashdot's Japan patrol comes out. Most of them haven't been to Japan and are talking about Japanese culture from what they've learned from TV, anime, and porn.

Most Japanese love American stuff, especially in terms of creative stuff: books and music, for example (in fact a lot of my friends listen exclusively to English music, American and/or British). I was at Tsutaya last night and there were a ton of American/English books in Japanese. Da Vinchi Code, Harry Potter, and Memoirs of A Geisha come to mind.

Having said that, the Xbox360's a failure here. No one cares that the machine is out. I didn't even know it was released (I knew it was soon, as I commented on a story before, but I didn't know the exact day). I'm outside Osaka, the second biggest city in Japan, and nothing is happening outside of Tokyo. It's nuts. Microsoft really doesn't care about getting the machine popular. Armchair American pundits say that its because the Japanese are racist against Americans. The truth is Microsoft is making zero effort to be popular in the U.S., and the normal xenophobic American response is to say its the Japanese fault.

I was in Lawson's (a convince store) this morning and there were a couple of Xbox magazines out on the shelf. I picked one up and the only games in it were games that aren't out: DoA, Mist Walker's RPG, games Japanese people are interested in, but they are not even avaliable!

And Christmas is celebrated here. Not only are there many Christians (one of my good friends is Japanese Christian, not to mention Koreans and other foreigners), but as a secular holiday, its huge. There are Christmas decorations everywhere (my favorite is the huge light up Santa near Kobe Harbor, but even in my little town there are decorations).

Re:The 360's failed in Japan. (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 8 years ago | (#14231515)

Not only are there many Christians (one of my good friends is Japanese Christian, not to mention Koreans and other foreigners)

Er, well, where many == approx. 1% of population...

[The few Japanese Christians I've known have been completely insane too; if they detected even the slightest hint that you might possibly not competely ignore them, they'd be camped out on your doorstep at 5am every morning for 6 months, just in case.... shudder.]

Re:The 360's failed in Japan. (1)

gorim (700913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14231644)

Sounds like the Jehovah's Witnesses faction, who stops by my door every 2 months like clockwork...

Yokohama Sales (1)

paedobear (808689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14232014)

For what it's worth I saw an actual Japanese person picking up a 360 at the same time I did - in Yokohama Yodobashi. There were stacks of them behind the counter... Oh - and to counter the "it's only being advertised in Shibuya" brigade - There've been plenty of adverts, the Japanese are far more aware of the 360 than they were the original XBox. It's just that none of the launch games appeal to them. Hell, even DOA4 has been pushed back again.

Re:Yokohama Sales (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 8 years ago | (#14232770)

Claiming that the Japanese are more aware of the Xbox 360 than they were of the Xbox is akin to claiming to be the tallest midget in the world. It may be true, but what does it accomplish really?

sold out my ass (1)

I judge you (796415) | more than 8 years ago | (#14232140)

Shibuya Tsutaya may have "sold out" in the morning, but when I went back there at around 5pm they had XB360s in stock.

Re:sold out my ass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14236923)

I know!

1. Buy unwanted XBOX360s from Japan
2. Post them on ebay
3. ??????
4. Profit!!

My Opinion: Why the 360 will flop (1)

mowph (642278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14236404)

Not that it's worth much, but I lived in Japan through the release of the PS2, original Xbox, and GC. I'm no marketing expert, but even I can see Microsoft setting itself up to repeat the orginal Xbox's failure.

The Name:

Did Nintendo release the NES as the cryptic "famicom" to the US market? No, and for good reason. The Dreamcast, Gamecube, and Playstation have much more English-friendly names which were obviously intended for the world market. While the exbox has the simple repetitive gruntability to appeal to beer-slamming frat boys in the US, it certainly doesn't have the elegance or foreign mystique that the Japanese expect of even domestic products. After the total failure of the first XBox in Japan, they should have taken the chance to drop the name rebuild their image.

Promotion:

The Christmas release was a bad idea. I think that the 360 has been lost in the storm of new promotions going around. While there is a lot of disposable consumer money this time of year, Microsoft will have to be a lot more aggressive both on TV and at the electronics stores. I was through three major electronics stores in Sapporo on Friday. I didn't venture inside the games sections, but I still should have seen something, if even a few posters, for the 360. If it was there, it was completely lost in the storm of Christmas promotions. Yes, they pulled of their big "official release", but their penetration in the rest of the country seemed dismally poor.

The bland TV ads are poorly styled. Japanese TVs are often left running as background noise during mealtimes and evenings, getting very little concentrated attention. That's why Japanese game commericals have the very distinctive "audio logo" at the beginning (e.g. Nintendo's coin sound) to make the target audience actually look at the screen. Most of the 360 ads simply fade into generic american rock music, with no voiceover to make it clear what the ad is for. The complete dependence on a video message is simply not done in Japan.

The commericals also don't show gameplay that looks any different from current generation Japanese console games, so what exactly are they trying to sell?

  • Ninety Nine Nights [microsoft.com] easily looks like another entry in the Shin Sangoku Musou series from the commerical footage.
  • Project Gotham [microsoft.com] appears to be just another Turismo wannabe.
  • Final Fantasy XI [microsoft.com] is, well, Final Fantasy XI. It certainly has brand name power, but it doesn't scream "new content" in the Japanese market, where most every RPG is a copy of Final Fantasy in some way or another. There are several other major RPGs with TV spots right now, and they go right for the target audience's money by detailing game systems and features. Microsoft gives us images of running Chocobos. If you didn't already own the PS2 version (which you do) you wouldn't even know it's an online game.
  • Perfect Dark Zero [microsoft.com] looks like they might be FINALLY getting some ads done right - solid drama shots, use of an audio logo, no rolling stones. Strangely, I've only seen it on air once, despite it being their best commercial by far.

And where is online play in Microsoft's ad spots? This was supposed to be THE major selling point of both 'boxes, but remains invisible to the average Japanese consumer. Last week, Nintendo quietly rolled out cute ads featuring immediately recognizable Mario characters playing Mariokart against each other from around the globe. How did the DS, which had internetability added on completely post-release, beat the Xbox to the punch here?

They also should have made use a mascot character, bought some Japanese pop idols or variety TV stars, or at least do something tangible if they really want to appeal to the mass markets. The choice to use Bill Gates' face at the climax of their release festivities is really incomprehensible.

No, Microsoft, no, no, no, no. Well, at least you can always go back to that operating system thing.

Software selection:

Most everyone in Japan who wants to play American PC games (a sliver of the market) just plays the Japanese Windows releases. Microsoft needs to innovate and get a true killer app out for the 360, not just license the latest sequel from a few major franchises. Let's think back to the original Xbox. In the US, Microsoft threw down a stack of cash and bought Bungie to cement their hot, broad-appeal launch title. What happened in Japan? Microsoft let True Fantasy Online die a slow death in the womb, betraying their early adaptors and simultaneously sealing the fate of the system's future.

They need to show that they're going to be as dedicated to Japanese gamers as they are to US gamers if they really want to succeed. I don't see anything unique for the 360 that's going to make it a "must have" system. Yes, they have FFXI, but you could get that on a PS2 or a PC for over a year now. I think it's safe to assume that most Japanese people who want it already have it. In the meanwhile, FFXII will be out on the PS2 (which everyone already has handy, or can buy a sleek, price-reduced model of) in just three months.

It's the games (1)

hopopee (859193) | more than 8 years ago | (#14237061)

Xbox has a history of having generally boring-ass games. FPSs and driving games and more FPSs and driving games. And when you think about the themes, they're mostly american or european. No japanese rpgs or other genres thought as a minority here but ones that are seriously popular over there.

On FPSs, a bit offtopic: A friend once told me that the japanese don't generally play fps-games because they get headaches from them.. Is this just another urban legend or something real?

Re:It's the games (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 8 years ago | (#14237578)

Can't speak for the Japanese, but I've known several women who have the same issue. They just get "seasick" with any sort of 3D, be it FPS or even watching Raziel and Kain run around in circles chopping people up.

I never understood it.

Xbox 360 Japanese Sales - 12/13 (1)

mowph (642278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14252441)

Just came across this article [famitsu.com] in Famitsuu Online. It has the sales figures for the first three days after the Xbox 360 release. The article is based on data gathered across the nation by Famitsuu's marketing arm. Here's a quick summary of the numbers:

360 Sales: (initial three days)

  • Estimated 360 sales: 62,135 units
  • Estimated units shipped to stores: 159,000 units

Original Xbox Sales: (initial three days following 2002/11/22 launch)

  • 123,929 units

Top 360 Software Sales:

  1. Ridge Racer 6: 29,891 units (Namco)
  2. Perfect Dark Zero: 14,897 units (Microsoft Games)
  3. Need for Speed Wanted: 6,842 units (Electronic Arts)

Software Sale Ratio: (first three days, software sales / game unit sales)

  • Xbox 360: 0.91 (less than one game being sold with each system on average!)
  • Original Xbox: 1.45

The article goes on with some commentary about how the delayed release of Dead or Alive 4 will affect the system's sales. It was originally slated as a release title, and expected to be their "killer title". It was first delayed one week to 12/17, then pushed back to the end of the month for 12/29. The editor surmises that 12/29 should be considered the "true" sale date for the 360, and postulates that many of the people buying the system with no games are in fact waiting for DOA4.

My half-baked conclusions:

It looks like there are a lot of unsold units in stores, and despite the claims that the official launch was a "success", they have barely reached half of the original Xbox's opening three day figures. (Remember that the original Xbox went on to take less than 5% of the share). If these initial numbers are any indication, the Xbox 360 is off to a very poor start in Japan.

It's probably no surprise to the readers here that the Japanese-made RR6 is handily outselling Need for Speed Wanted. What's more of a surprise is that the average consumer seems to be buying the Xbox 360 with just one game, or in some cases, none at all! That has got to hurt short-term profits for Microsoft, who is taking a loss on the hardware and hoping to recover on software and online licenses.

I think that if anything, the delay of DOA4 probably pushed up sales of the other titles. Many purchasers had pre-reserved a system, and it would suck to have nothing but a beta of FFXI to play on the system you lined up for.

First TWO Days of 360 Sales (1)

mowph (642278) | more than 8 years ago | (#14252486)

Oops, since the article was published on the 13th, and the Xbox 360 was released on the 10th, it only reflects the first TWO days of 360 sales. (The title of the article also clarifies that the 360 sales figures refer to the first two days.) Apologies.

The sales figures quoted for the original Xbox are for its first three days. I guess that's because it went on sale on a Friday, whereas the 360 debuted on a Saturday. It's also worth noting that I somehow interchanged the Dreamcast and Xbox in my head by saying that it went on sale in November instead of February... the correct release date of the original Xbox in Japan was 2002/2/22.

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