Xbox One 'must' launch in Japan alongside US, says dev

Xbox One 'must' launch in Japan alongside US, says dev
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

July 22nd 2013 at 12:58PM

Game director says Microsoft's next console stands a good chance against PS4 if it arrives on time

Microsoft must launch Xbox One, its upcoming next generation console, in Japan at the same time as its North American release if it wishes to see a successful uptake in the region, Dynasty Warriors 8 director Atsushi Miyauchi has claimed.

Microsoft have so far been skittish about confirming a launch date for console in the Far East, with one executive saying it won’t launch in the region until 2014 – which is thought to be after PS4’s scheduled Japanese launch.

However, speaking to Polygon at PAX Australia, Miyauchi reflected on Microsoft’s efforts with its current system and wants to see change.

“I think Microsoft gave up promoting and presenting the Xbox 360 in Japan, it didn't keep the momentum there,” he said.

“And if they can release the Xbox One as close as possible to the North American release date, I think that would make a really big difference this time around.

“Looking at the recent announcements about the Xbox One – just looking at the numbers, the specs and about what kind of things the Xbox One can do with its CPU – the gap between the PS4 and Xbox One, in terms of functionality, may not be that different. So, if the Xbox One comes to TGS and doesn’t have a delayed release in Japan, Microsoft’ll have a good chance [in the region].”

Miyauchi when on to explain that Xbox 360’s design was “too big and too bulky” for Japanese consumers, and claimed that the popularity of the PS2 was the reason why Microsoft’s current console made minimal impact in Japan this generation.

“And one trait with Japanese people is that if they are comfortable with a brand, they will stick with that,” he added.

“The PS2 was great and they were used to it, so a lot of consumers just updated to the PS3. For example, if they have an iPhone and they like it, they’ll probably just get the next one. Whereas, in the West, some may have an iPhone, but if the next Galaxy comes out, and it has more features, they’ll get what has the better specs.”

Microsoft and Sony are both yet to make full presentations to Japanese game developers. Miyauchi said that not a lot of information has come their way and he is now looking for the platform holders to open up at the Tokyo Games Show later this year.

Japanese developers aren’t the only ones concerned about Microsoft’s next Xbox. Earlier this month, the CEO of Microsoft Japan Yasuyuki Higuchi admitted that Xbox One will be a tough sell in his home country.