Microsoft has perennially struggled in Japan in the console market. The original Xbox did miserably in Japan and for the first year of its launch it seemed like the Xbox 360 was going to follow in its footsteps. However, the past few months have seen some fairly high profile titles hit the console along with some extremely aggressively priced hardware and software bundles. Gamasutra is reflecting on these releases to try and determine if Microsoft has indeed turned things around in that territory.
The site looks to the recent launch of Blue Dragon and its related hardware bundle as well as the release of Gears of War in Japan to try and find out where the truth lies. Blue Dragon was probably one of the strongest releases, but after the initial release spike, the game dropped off the sales charts fairly quickly. Similarly, Gears of War broke the top ten in sales for the week it was released, but very next week had the game dropping off the top 30 entirely. Reports in Japan had Microsoft badly undershipping the title, which would effectively kill sales, if true. But overall this seems to reflect on efforts by a company that still doesn’t really understand the culture, and this is quickly killing any temporary successes. Much of the feedback that Gamasutra received for their article seems to show a company that is badly out of sync with their target market, putting marketing money into badly conceived campaigns that fail to reach the consumer.
Read More | Gamasutra
A new survey from recently the recently formed research company Interpret shows the Xbox 360 trailing in mindshare in the next generation console wars. Interpret’s survey targeted 2,000 online users; these users were then apparently weighted against 2004 Census data. In the data released to Next Generation, the weighted data shows 8.9 million consumers ready to pony up money for the PS3, 5.7 million would purchase the Wii, and 800,000 would buy the Xbox 360 at full price. It’s hard to attach much weight to the survey, though, without further information.
While Interpret LLC is a new company, its founders consist of veterans from ratings giant Nielsen; there is a lot of experience at the helm. But without more particulars, it is hard to judge if Interpret’s extrapolations are valid. There are some interesting points from the research; Interpret believes that while Microsoft has had tremendous success over the past year, the company has not been able to expand its audience beyond the hardcore gamer. It is also easy for gamers online to get an insulated view of the industry. Certainly, Sony has had a lot of bad news related to the Playstation 3, but a lot of this information will not trickle down to the mainstream audience. While this survey paints a bad picture for Microsoft, there is a huge gap between surveys, statistics, and the real world.
Read More | Next Generation
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