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Microsoft eyes 2014 launch for Xbox One in Japan

The company is releasing the game console in the U.S. and 20 other countries in 2013, but Japan has been listed as "tier 2."

James Martin/CNET

Microsoft's Xbox One console will hit Japanese store shelves in 2014, a company exec has confirmed.

Speaking in an interview with gaming site 4 Gamer, Microsoft Japan President Yasuyuki Higuchi said that the Japanese market is considered "tier 2" by Microsoft, and thus, will not receive the Xbox One until next year. He didn't say exactly when the console will be available in Japan.

Although Japan is a key market for console makers, it's proven to be a major hole in Microsoft's business. Japanese customers have not warmed to the Xbox the way consumers in North America and Europe have. And although Microsoft wants to make a push for the Japanese market with the Xbox One, it appears to not be as important this time around.

The Xbox One is launching in the U.S. and 20 other countries later this year.