Phil Spencer: The fastest growing market for Xbox is Japan
After struggling to make an impact on the country last generation, it seems that Microsoft is finally starting to make some headway.
Xbox has always had a really hard time in Japan, save from a few months early on during the last generation when Xbox 360 actually outsold PlayStation 3 thanks to games like Blue Dragon, Eternal Sonata, and Lost Odyssey. And Xbox One has really, really struggled and is so far behind the competition that it is barely noticeable.
But it seems like there might just be signs of an opening for Microsoft. During the Xbox boss Phil Spencers Tokyo Game Show speach, he revealed that the fastest-growing market for Xbox right now actually is Japan. He also added that right now, there are "more players on Xbox devices, games, and services than at any time in our history in the market" and said that Xbox Live has seen a growth of 82% monthly active users compared to the same period last year. Surely, this has been boosted by the Covid-19 situation, but it is still a major increase.
Finally, Spencer seemed to admit that Xbox has struggled in the past in Japan, and said that Microsoft is learning from this:
"We learn from the past. And this year, we're scaling our global vision with the goal to launch our products in Japan at the same time as the rest of the world, including our new console, which will launch day and date with our global markets."
Just a few hours later, several sources reported that Xbox Series S and X seem to have sold really well in Japan, amongst them VGC and Xbox News. All major resellers seemed to have run out of Xbox consoles (also true for Korea, it seems), but we doubt Microsoft had any huge numbers allocated to offer Japan. Still, it is of course a better sign that the consoles sold out than not doing so.
Thanks, Game Industry.