While it's true that Xbox often falls behind in Japan to native gaming brands like Nintendo and PlayStation, it hasn't stopped the American company from trying in the region. However, former Xbox exec Ed Fries wonders why Microsoft really bothers with its Japanese push at all.
In a recent appearance on the Xbox Expansion Pass podcast, Fries was asked about his opinion on "Xbox Failing In Japan". Fries is aware that Xbox is continuing to try and sell its platform there, but questions why.
"It's very tough to be successful in Japan with a foreign game machine, that's what I would say. Xbox has never been successful there, I don't think it ever will be, and the importance of the Japanese market isn't as big as it was back then... I think it's fine for Microsoft to focus on the rest of the world, I think they would have been better off if they did that sooner."
"Is something lost if you try and always fail? I mean, Microsoft just doesn't sell very many Xboxes in Japan. So, 'is the act of trying important' is kind of at the core of your question, is it important to just try? I'm not sure it is. If you're trying but nobody's buying what you're selling, maybe you should try something different."
"For me Elden Ring is the game of the year, it's incredible. I'm glad it's available on Xbox. But it isn't because we sold a lot of Xboxes in Japan that it's available on Xbox."
Ouch. We sort of understand Fries' angle here, Xbox is always going to struggle against Japanese gaming companies like Sony and Nintendo in that region. However, Xbox is gaining a bit of a foothold in Japan this generation — in part due to Xbox Series S — and the platform is faring better than it did for pretty much all of the Xbox One era.
How do you feel about Xbox in Japan? Should they continue to push there or focus elsewhere? Let us know your thoughts down below.