Shocking: Xbox One Sells Poorly In Japan

Microsoft’s focus on international markets has been unfavorable to say the least. The Xbox One, asserting the titular all-in-one entertainment tag like a badge of unwarranted glory, hasn’t quite charmed audiences outside the realm of cross-promotional snack foods and diluted corn syrup. Attempts at trampling competition with aggressive marketing campaigns have resulted in no more than a cautious creep, with recent sales figures reflecting a clear distaste for Microsoft’s latest console despite the company’s intrepid push in the east.

According to Famitsu, the Xbox One sold 23,562 units in its first week in Japan, making it one of the country’s worst selling consoles in recent history. The problem? It surprised exactly nobody. Well, it might have surprised Microsoft a little.

While there’s a lot to be said about Microsoft’s efforts, boasting the industry’s most sedulous advocacy and sincere devotion (at least from a PR standpoint), and an unspoken assurance that Xbox owners shouldn’t be concerned with the consoles future, Microsoft’s attempts at expanding the One’s wingspan are as gutsy and respectable as they are damaging to its impact in North America: home of the console’s open-armed supporters.

And despite its upcoming (and growing) library of enticing indies and flashy exclusives, one can’t help but feel that Microsoft’s endeavors should retain an emphasis on western development. Territorial expansion of a slow-selling console seems counter-productive. Microsoft should be improving the system in its active regions, buffing out its flaws and carving new experiences for players to explore.

Now, I’m well-aware that the tune would be a different one had the console performed well in its first week in Japan, but that’s a song the company has never — and likely will never — sing. Is it Japan’s economical state that won’t allow Microsoft the same success Sony has found? Is it the country’s strengthened dedication to handhelds? Perhaps it’s Microsoft’s misguided approach to marketing abroad? Share your opinion in the comments below.