Two players have locked horns in the battle of the next-generation gaming machines and this has made the battle rather interesting.
Microsoft has been making serious inroads into Japan with its new consoles and network services. Meanwhile, Tokyo-based Sony has also moved its PlayStation business headquarters to California in 2016 and has also built the US into its largest single market.
With new Xbox and PlayStation devices will be launching this week but will likely face an uphill battle in Japan as this is where, Nintendo’s Switch enjoys dominance with a family-friendly lineup of games.
However, Microsoft has been targeting the world’s third-largest video-game market — including with services that can be accessed across a variety of devices – and well, this could be a combination which would potentially yield strong results. As the Xbox has virtually zero presence in the country, there’s plenty of room for it to increase its share.
“The Xbox has a chance to make Japan its second-largest market after the U.S. if it takes the right steps for years to come,” said Hideki Yasuda, an analyst at Ace Research Institute in Tokyo. “Sony’s attention is drifting away and fans have started to notice that.”
It should be mentioned here that Sony has placed more importance on the US market after the PlayStation 4’s disappointing performance in Japan.
The challenge facing Microsoft is rather steep. The Xbox One accounted for just 0.1% of console sales in Japan this year through November 1 when compared with 10.1% for the PlayStation 4 and 89.8% for Nintendo’s Switch, as per Famitsu.
Microsoft has been placing big bets on the Xbox Series S, the smallest Xbox ever and they hope, it will help them turn the tide. Now, previous consoles were criticized as being too large for Japanese living rooms.
“Japan has long been an isolated part of the Xbox world, but it appears Microsoft is changing that landscape,” Katsuhiko Hayashi, representative of Famitsu Group, said of Microsoft’s efforts to target the country.