Japan Is A 'Tier 2' Territory, Xbox One Launch In 2014
In a press-attended Microsoft Japan corporate strategy meeting, new information about the launch of the Xbox One in that territory. President and CEO Yasuyuki Higuchi addressed inquiries about when the Xbox One will be available to Japanese gamers.
In an interview with 4Gamer, Higuchi confirmed what we already suspected. Japan will not be included in the first wave of territories to receive the Xbox One, pushing the console's arrival there into next year.
This should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the adoption trajectory of the Xbox and Xbox 360 in Japan. As of early 2011, Microsoft had only sold 1.5 million Xbox 360s.
Worldwide, 76 million consoles have been shipped. With Japan only accounting for approximately two percent of the lifetime units, the decision seems straightforward. It's unlikely that Microsoft will make in-roads in Japan this generation, instead opting to merely have a presence while focusing its efforts in the US and Europe.
The downside for the West is that Microsoft will, once again, be at a severe disadvantage in terms of exclusive titles from Japanese developers. We're already seeing how that will play out, as Square Enix isn't even willing to confirm that Xbox One versions of Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III will be released at the same time as they will be on PlayStation 4.