News Article

Why Is PlayStation More Popular Than Xbox in Japan?

Posted by Sammy Barker

Keiji Inafune puts it down to brand loyalty

While the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 are more or less equals in most parts of the world, Microsoft’s machine struggles in Japan. It’s not uncommon to see the green-tinged device sell less than 1,000 units a week in the land of the rising sun, while Sony’s counterpart tends to teeter around the 15,000 units mark. But what’s the reason behind the vast discrepancy? Soul Sacrifice creator Keiji Inafune believes that it's down to domestic brand loyalty.

“I understand Japanese users don’t prefer Xbox 360, but if I was asked why, I wouldn’t be able to put a finger on it,” he said in an interview with IGN. “Probably one of the reasons is because PlayStation is a domestic brand in Japan. As a Japanese [person], I think it’s only natural you feel closer or attached more to domestic products, and I find myself being that way too.”

The former Capcom man added that Microsoft may have been able to overcome this issue if it had secured more console exclusives in the region, but with most games going multiplatform, he conceded that it would have been tough for the manufacturer to lock enough content down. With that in mind, it’ll be interesting to see whether the company even bothers to compete in Japan with Durango, or if it simply leaves the market for Nintendo and Sony to scrap over.


User Comments (18)



get2sammyb said:

@artemisthemp I don't think that's true at all. There's obviously a big market in Japan, but not enough to kill a system. I think the biggest battleground this time is actually going to be Europe. Sony obviously dominates in continental Europe, but I could see Microsoft trying to turn the tides.



WCamicase said:

@get2sammyb But will they be able to do that? I as a multi console owner have zero interest in the XBox because all it's games are multi plat and the exclusives simply aren't genres of games that I like
I have my PS3 for exclusives and multiplats, same goes for PC and in the near future I want a WiiU for exclusives, why would I want an XBox if they don't offer me any unique content?



hYdeks said:

@get2sammyb absolutely agree, Japan is a huge fail to them, but i think Microsoft's main goal is to secure more support in Europe, because they seem to like Nintendo and Song alot more. In NA, Microsoft has no problems. Out of all my friends, only me and one other guy have PS3's, the rest has 360's, so I'm pretty sure Microsoft isn't doing terribly.



MorriganIsHot said:

Same thing could be said about xbox being more popular in the US than playstation. It isn't about the games, its brand loyalty.



rjejr said:

I don't think it's so much that Sony is a Japanese company - BTW if an American said that about Xbox360 they'ld be considered racist - but simply the games. Plus Sony had a head start w/ PS1 so MS was already coming in late. And Japan also already had Nintendo, they didn't need a 3rd console in that tiny island nation.

As for "Durango", it won't have any games (ie enough 1st party exclusives to justify buying the system) so I could foresee MS not even bothering w/ Japan. Not at launch anyway. I guess at some point they'll want "Windows 8 in the living room" in Japan also.



FullbringIchigo said:

it's the same reason why in America the 360 is more popular and why here in the UK we don't really care it's the brand AND the fact that they were made in the respective country's Americans will always prefer an American made product and Japanese will always prefer a Japanese made product

hell if we in the UK had a console manufacturer it would probably be the same for us too



Tuturoopa said:

Maybe its because some people can figure out its not worth paying monthly fees to play online, while another system thats just as powerful offers it for free, how well do first person shooters sell in japan? Just curious cause i think thats the only reason people perfrer xbox in the states is because for some reason a lot of people here only care for shooters, which all of xbox's first party games are first person shooters practically



theblackdragon said:

I don't think racism comes into play here, guys — he's not talking about it in terms of a specific race of people having made a product, he's talking in terms of nationalistic pride. it's kinda like the move for people to 'buy American' or 'buy local' here in the US that's been going on for decades now, and I wouldn't doubt that there are similar social drives in other countries as well for their inhabitants to buy locally-made items in stores over foreign-made competing items. Some people prefer their cars to come from American companies for whatever reason and we don't go labeling them racist here in America, do we?



Stuffgamer1 said:

I'm American, and I have no brand loyalty to Microsoft at all. I'm far more interested in securing quality product, and with game consoles, that means buying Japanese for me.

I hope Microsoft doesn't try to woo Japan again...last time they tried that, we got a few great JRPG's stuck on an otherwise crappy piece of hardware. I still want Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey on PS3!



Tuturoopa said:

Ya I meant if you tell your friends that's the reason why (well at least my friends) they'd joke around and say I was racist, I don't think everyone would say I'm racist



JavierYHL said:

i think is only us and uk where xbox 360 is more popular...i live in asia and playstation 3 is the main console here...



Zombie_Barioth said:

Nationalistic pride definitely plays a role just like with any other product, but I think the types of games that are found on Playstation or Nintendo consoles just appeal to them more. To the Japanese Xbox is probably seen as the console for shooters and other western style games that just don't do as well over there.

Its the same for myself as well since my tastes are just geared more towards that of Japan so I prefer Playstation and Nintendo, and thats where the games I like are. Its funny to think that whats popular over hear is considered niche in Japan and vice versa.

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