XBox Faces Grim Sales Figures in Japan

XBox Faces Grim Sales Figures in Japan

For Micosoft the Japanese market must seem like the Holy Grail of console sales. Competing with local giants such as Sony and Nintendo is not an easy task under any conditions but doing so with a product with limited content is even worse. Recent sales figures, reported by games magazine publisher Enterbrain Inc. suggest that Microsofts' console is trailing far behind its two rivals in Japan, despite the price cut introduced by MS. Between its launch on February 22nd and June 30th XBox has sold 236,372 units in Japan while for the same time period, Sony's PlayStation 2 console totaled 2.08 million units, while Nintendo's GameCube reached sales of 478,202 units.

Analysts claim that the figures confirm that the lack of content is confirmed by the weak XBox sales. Faced with weak after-launch sales, Microsoft had to cut the price of its games console from 34,800 Yen to 24,800 yen on May 22.

We admit that demand for Xbox was softer than we had expected for the first few months. But the sales have become more stable and stronger since the price cut, Midori Takahashi, spokeswoman for Microsoft's Japan unit said.

For the first half of 2002, in tune with World Cup Fever in Japan, Konami Corp.'s World Soccer Winning Eleven 6 for PlayStation 2 was the best-selling software title, with sales of 974,605 units. Just trailing the soccer game was Capcom's Onimusha2 for PS2 with 963,529 units sold.

The leading game maker in terms of sales was Nintendo, with sales topping 2.55 million units, followed by Konami with sales of 2.45 million units and Sega Corp. with 1.68 million.

Total sales of game consoles, including handhelds, increased by 10.6 percent year-on-year to 97.89 billion yen for the six months, while sales of game software rose 18.2 percent to 144 billion yen, Enterbrain said.