Phil Spencer says that the Xbox just doesn't have the kind of games Japanese gamers want to play.
Almost no-one will argue that the Xbox hasn't been a failure in Japan. The original console and the 360 never picked up any steam in the region, and the PS4 is outselling the Xbox One at a rate of 10 to 1. Why did this happen? There are a lot of explanations, but Xbox boss himself Phil Spencer says that it's primarily about the games.
"A lot of Japanese gamers really seem to like games such as Persona 5 or Nioh," said Spencer in an interview with Play-Asia. "If we plan on doing better in the Japanese game market we want to release games that the average Japanese gamer will really enjoy."
Spencer hasn't given up on the region however, and said "We plan to talk with many other developers in order to bring more games to the Japanese market, we were happy to announce Final Fantasy XV on the Xbox One which made me extremely happy and as mentioned we plan on a lot more connections!"
As well as the lack of games Japanese gamers want to play, there are plenty of other explanations for the Xbox's failure in the region. The most superficial one is that in Japan, X is the symbol used to mean "bad" or "incorrect" (hence why the O and X buttons are reversed on Japanese PlayStations). Others, such as Japanese distrust of foreign electronics (which seems to be turning around due to the iPhone) and western games (there's an old Japanese saying that basically translates to "western game is shit game") have also no doubt contributed.
There's also the rapidly shrinking console market in Japan, which barley has enough room for the two Japanese consoles (Wii U and PS4), let alone a third one.
Will the Xbox brand ever be popular in Japan? What do you guys think?