There is no doubt that Japan was a market that Xbox struggled with for the entirety of the Xbox One generation. It took over 4 years for the Xbox One to sell 100k units in Japan, which is abysmal in comparison to the Xbox 360 which sold just over 1.5 million in the Japanese market. The big bulky launch Xbox One and their focus on TV, over games at launch no doubt hurt the Xbox One in all markets. But the company’s over-focus on Western games and losing important partnerships in the region contributed to this failure heavily. Now it looks like the tides may be turning for Xbox in Japan, as the latest sales figures for the Xbox Series consoles appear to be trending in a much more positive direction.
During this week’s release of Japanese sales figures from games industry site Famitsu, it was revealed that Xbox Series consoles had officially crossed over 100k units in Japan officially. While this is a much lower figure than the PlayStation 5, which just over a month ago officially sold 1 million units in the same region. While Xbox has a long way to go in order to catch up to the PlayStation 5, one thing is exceptionally clear. Xbox has done a much better job in marketing the Xbox Series consoles to this region than they ever did with the Xbox One. While it took 4 years for the Xbox One to hit 100k units sold, Xbox Series consoles have done this in just under a year since the console’s launch.
A Change In Philosophy With The Xbox Series Consoles
Now what could be driving these sales one might ask? The Xbox Series S appears to be a big factor, while the Xbox Series X is a big sales driver in the Western market. The much smaller and compact Xbox Series S appears to be the hot item in the Japanese market if someone wants to get into the Xbox ecosystem. With this week for example as the Xbox Series X moved 527 units compared to the Series S which sold 2920 units. It is a clear indicator that the Series S is striking a chord in this market.
A big factor os this growth could of course be Xbox Game Pass as well as perhaps more importantly Xcloud. Both of these features could also be contributing to Xbox’s upward growth in the region. As mobile gaming is a huge part of the Asian market as a whole, and with Xcloud capabilities launching in the region, it will be interesting to observe how the market will grow over the next few years.
Without a doubt, Xbox has a lot of work ahead of them still, such as improving localization as well as getting games that appeal to wider audiences on the platform. To see Xbox Series consoles find great success out the gate is a good sign for the industry overall, and hopefully, this trend upwards will continue. A competitive gaming industry is a healthy gaming industry and so far this generation could possibly be one of the most successful we have ever seen.