Microsoft isn't happy with Xbox One sales in Japan

An Xbox One exec acknowledges that the company isn't satisfied with the console's reception so far in Japan.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
3 min read

No, Microsoft is none too pleased with the Xbox One's poor sales in Japan. Microsoft

Microsoft's Xbox One sales in Japan have been pretty bad, and at least one top executive admits that the company is none too happy about that.

As spotted by gaming news site Kotaku, Xbox Japan chief Takashi Sensui spoke with a Japanese gaming magazine named Famitsu and offered his thoughts on the Xbox One launch in the country.

"It's not as though we're satisfied with the current sales state," Sensui said. "We hope to continue through taking user feedback and improving [the Xbox One] and offering content that everyone can enjoy. We are also aware that reaching out to let more people know about the Xbox One is vital. However, the current console generation has become very long. We hope to lay out a long-term vision and to focus on publicity for our console. Taking the first step was very important, and as for how to permeate the market from here, we hope to continue to do our best."

The Xbox One landed in Japan on September 4 only to bump into a poor launch weekend. During the first four days of sales, Japanse consumers bought only 23,562 consoles, according to stats from GamSpot. That was considerably less than the 62,000 Xbox 360 units that Microsoft sold during the initial two launch days for that device in 2005.

From there, things got worse. During the second week, Microsoft sold just 3,015 Xbox One units. And the following week, only 1,314 Xbox One consoles departed store shelves in Japan. In his article about the sinking sales, Kotaku reporter Brian Ashcraft blamed the problem in part on Microsoft's failure to promote its console among Japanese consumers.

"Still, I haven't seen any Xbox One ads on television," Ashcraft said. "There are in-store displays, but nobody knows what the Xbox One is -- and if they do, all they know is that the console is bombing in Japan. I really wish Microsoft would put more of an effort into selling it."

Also speaking with Famitsu, Microsoft Xbox division head Phil Spencer said he thought the Xbox One would face a long road in spreading throughout Japan. But he added that the Japanese market is important to Microsoft and that the company would work to do its best in the country.

In the following statement sent to CNET on September 25, a Microsoft spokesperson expressed some optimism about the company's long-term Xbox One potential in Japan.

Microsoft has a long-term commitment to the market and our fans in Japan. For us, success isn't just about console sales in the first month, it's about building strong relationships with developers and publishers, and helping creators build titles that reach the hearts of gamers.

We're excited to work with Japanese developers including Access Games, Platinum Games, Grounding Inc. and 5pd to bring exclusive titles like 'D4,' 'Scalebound,' 'Crimson Dragon,' and 'Psycho-Pass' to Xbox One. This holiday, we look forward to delivering a lineup of exclusive games including 'Halo: The Master Chief Collection,' 'Sunset Overdrive,' 'Forza Horizon 2,' 'Ori and the Blind Forest' and more.

We are excited about what we've heard from fans who purchased Xbox One, and thank them for their support. This is just the beginning.