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360 To Be Relaunched In Japan 50

GamesIndustry.biz reports that Microsoft is planning to relaunch their next-gen console in Japan ... now that there are some games to offer players. The event is scheduled to happen in June, to coincide with that country's launch of Ghost Recon, among other titles. From the article: "It's not yet clear what form the relaunch might take - whether it will see the console's pricing or bundles being changed, or if it will simply be a new marketing campaign focused on the locally relevant software available for the system. Japan was the only territory where the Xbox 360 did not sell out at launch, despite having a smaller allocation than any other market, and in fact the launch underperformed by comparison with the launch of the original Xbox - itself hardly a stellar success story in the region."
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360 To Be Relaunched In Japan

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  • Failure x 2 (Score:5, Funny)

    by xzanthar ( 543209 ) on Friday March 31, 2006 @06:59PM (#15037975)
    Why fail something once, when you can fail it twice at twice the cost?
    • Indeed. Luckily I was there [unsanity.org] for the first failure. I hope I can be there for the second one as well. OMGWTFBBQ?!

      But I hear Japan is humid as all hell in the summer.
      • But I hear Japan is humid as all hell in the summer.

        That will just double the fun. Just image: FREE FIREWORKS INCLUDED a.k.a. _that_ power supply! It's fun, it's famous, it's HOT, so go and get one. Just remember to hang it directly in front of the air condition vent should you plan to actually USE the console.

        Enough of that, sorry. I loved the quote from the movie Contact in the GP post, though. That's what a first post should look like, maximum respec'!

    • If you fail..fail, fail again.

      MS needs to stop wasting resources on the Japanses market. Japan is culturally inclined to ALWAYS support their own companies. All the relaunches, hype, advertising in the world isn't going to cause the Japanese to choose an American product over a Japanese one.


  • I think this is a good idea.

    I blame the Xbox360's lackluster sales in Japan (and poor reviews in the states) on the fact that the release wasn't very impressive-- the games just weren't there. Now that they're building up a library, I think that more people will pay attention (the lack of games at launch were what kept me from buying a Nintendo DS). While I'm hardly an Xbox fan, I hope this move works for them.

    • "(the lack of games at launch were what kept me from buying a Nintendo DS)"

      I assume you meant to say PSP, since the DS came with the entire Gameboy Advance library at launch, plus 11 DS only games at launch in North America. Eleven is a slightly above average number of launchtitles for a modern day console.
    • Re:Good idea (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Perseid ( 660451 )
      It's not about the number of games, and it's not even so much about the quality - it's what those games are. Microsoft completely failed to grab the Japanese audience with the original XBox and they swore up and down that they learned from their mistakes and wouldn't repeat them with the 360 in Japan. Lo and behold, they did repeat them.

      From our perspective, the Japanese play some weird-ass games like Shogi, Go, Horse Race Gambling, Mahjongg, and somtimes weird combinations of the 4. Microsoft doesn't se
      • Re:Good idea (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Microsoft is never going to get it. They just don't have what it takes, and even worse, they think that they do. They sent that company-killing fool Peter Moore out and he talked about superior cultural dominance during the Japanese 360 launch event, for FUCK'S sake. And now they want do-overs.

        They're finished as far as Japan is concerned. To paraphrase a post I made elsewhere, Microsoft Japan under Maruyama was trying to sell yellow ice to eskimos. Microsoft "fixed" the problem by replacing Maruyama w
        • You have to admire Nintendo's naming choice for their next console. Everyone and their little brother are waiting for the revolution these days... ;)
      • I've always thought that if True Fantasy Online [rpgamer.com] was actually finished and released, that the XBox would have done a lot better in Japan and so would have the 360. They don't seem to have any sort of grip there.
      • Listen, MS will *NEVER* win over the Japanese market because the Japanese are a notoriously racist and nationalistic people. They are simply NEVER going to buy into an American company over a Japanese one, period. MS could release nothing BUT Japanese-centric games and Japanese consumers still wouldn't buy a 360.

        I really wish MS would concentrate their efforts on the U.S. and Europe. Why on earth are they wasting their time with this crap when they still don't have enough players to stock American or Euro

  • by Frag-A-Muffin ( 5490 ) on Friday March 31, 2006 @07:04PM (#15038004) Homepage
    I guess this is what mean when they call Microsoft a 500lb gorilla bullying their way into whatever market they feel like dominating? I don't know any company that has deep enough pockets to go through this much effort to gain foothold in a particular region. (Albeit, a very important region). I would really like to know how much money they've spent in the Japanese marketon marketing and development. I heard they really beefed it up for the original 360 launch because of the dismal failure the original xbox was in Japan. Only to see it fail even worse. Hmm .. maybe you can't just through money at 'culture' and expect to win them over after all?
  • "Never time to do it right. Always time to do it twice." Saw this a lot as a consultant. Never rings truer!
  • Heh (Score:3, Funny)

    by Daetrin ( 576516 ) on Friday March 31, 2006 @07:16PM (#15038080)
    Didn't Nokia try that with the N-Gage?
  • Does that mean it will be recrashing, too?
  • They're relaunching it to coincide with the launch of Ghost Recon? Again Microsoft show they have made no attempt to research the Japanese market.
    • by bigman2003 ( 671309 ) on Friday March 31, 2006 @07:59PM (#15038366) Homepage
      You're right. Instead of the enemy being Mexican, they should have set it in China.

      Or Korea.

      That would have been much better localization.
      • Nah, they should have just set it in Iraq, and involve dragging Japanese soldiers into battle against their will. That would be really popular over there.

        Oh, and their other launch titles should have been "Grand Theft Auto: Jap Car Smashing", "Fable II: The RPG With No Bishies, Schoolgirls or Giant Robots", "Medal of Honor: The Yellow Peril", and "Stomp Baby Puppies To Prove Your Manhood III".

        It might also help if their marketing ran a lot of ads snickering that the PS2 and GC are less fun because "their co
  • Ghost Recon!? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sean0michael ( 923458 ) on Friday March 31, 2006 @07:34PM (#15038206)
    The event is scheduled to happen in June, to coincide with that country's launch of Ghost Recon, among other titles.

    Japan doesn't need or want a FPS game like Ghost Recon. What they want is Brain Training and Nintendogs. They want Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts. They want Zelda and Mario.

    If the second launch doesn't include any new genres, then I expect it to succeed as much as the first one. That is to say, not at all.

  • Once GhostRecon comes out. I'm in the States, not Japan, I'd like to point out, but GhostRecon's latest offering seems like a very attractive title. And, of course, now that Oblivion is out...
    • Once GhostRecon comes out. I'm in the States, not Japan, I'd like to point out, but GhostRecon's latest offering seems like a very attractive title. And, of course, now that Oblivion is out...

      So you're picking one up, right? Because GRAW has been out for a couple weeks now. Also, the 360 stocking situation has improved significantly, so you have a very good chance of finding one without having to camp.

      I've been enjoying Oblivion on my 360 for the past week. No way would that run on any of my PCs.

      • Also, the 360 stocking situation has improved significantly

        I'm still not seeing this. Are any of the online retailers actually offering them for sale now (outside of ridiculously overpriced "bundles", that is)? I checked just the other day and the premium system was still listed as "out of stock" at every online retailer (nor was it available in any of my local stores). Best Buy actually had it listed as "Coming Soon" as if it hadn't even been *released* yet, lol


  • by TheZorch ( 925979 ) <thezorch @ g m a i l . c om> on Friday March 31, 2006 @08:13PM (#15038470) Homepage
    Final Fantasy XI is slated to be released next month on the Xbox 360 along with the release of the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion. I've heard rumors that MS plans to ship 360s in Japan with FFXI already installed on the hard drives to boost sales. PS2 and PC users (I use the PC version) will need to get the expansion while the 360 version will already include it.

    FFXI on the 360 looks just like FFXI on a high-end PC with high-res textures and bumpmapping. The overall artwork won't look that different than the PS2 version but it will not be quite as fuzzy and will look better. Its expected that there will a PS3 version since its inconceivable that SquareEnix would abandon their VAST army of current PS2 users.

    FFXI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan for the PC and PS2 is coming out April 30th similtaneously in Japan and the US.
  • Marketing Speak (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Headcase88 ( 828620 ) on Friday March 31, 2006 @08:33PM (#15038693) Journal
    What is this "relaunch"? A console can only launch once.

    Are they going to bundle a game with it? Nintendo's done that with the Gamecube like 4 times and they weren't called "relaunches". Are they going to ship more consoles? No... that's not neccessary. Are they going to market it agressively? That's still not a "relaunch", that's a "marketing campaign".

    Maybe it's just a different interpretation of the word "launch". To me it means "the first time you sell your product to the public". Maybe to them the meaning is "the first time the public buys your product".

    Sure, I'm looking too much into this, but a term like "re-launch" peeves me. It's like how the little things got to the Seinfeld gang.
  • http://www.gamespot.com/news/6146924.html [gamespot.com]

    The Xbox360 will be bundled with EA's 2006 FIFA World Cup along with face plates that match Japan's national soccer team's colors and some accessories. I can imagine other themed bundles will soon follow.
  • You can only launch a product once. There's no such thing as a re-launch. After that, you're just making a new campaign. This is just a way of making it seem like the console is going to get a fresh start with new direction. But really, it's just changing the direction of the old campaign and re-focusing attention on the console in hopes that people will forget all of the opinions surrounding the console's launch.
    • Since when has Microsoft followed the rules or even commonsense. Actually this is the only way that they can hope to stop the PS3 from having a great launch. At first they said that Halo3 would win some prospective PS3 buyers, but if no one in Japan has a x-box then that won't help.

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents