Microsoft is doing well in the United States with their XBOX 360 sales. However, that same success has not been replicated when Microsoft headed over to Japan to battle with Nintendo and Sony for sales in their home country. According to Edge, Japanese retailers are starting to scale back their supply of the system due to poor sales.
According to CVG, Microsoft has sold 1.5 million systems in Japan since December 2005. This is quite low when compared to the 25.4 million ( as of March 31, 2011 ) that have been sold in the US. Microsoft is not giving up on the XBOX 360 in Japan and they made a new division called the Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB) and it is being headed by Takashi Sensui (who also headed the prior division). According to Edge, Sensui can now fully concentrate on selling XBOX 360s in Japan as the XBOX 360 was now removed from Microsoft’s Home & Entertainment division where it was bundled in Windows and Office software.
Microsoft may not have given up on Japan... but has Japan given up on Microsoft's XBOX 360? At this current rate, it is hard to believe that a XBOX 360 successor in the future would be stocked in Japanese retail stores. Microsoft will have to pull off some significant sales numbers in Japan soon in order to compete with Nintendo and Sony. Microsoft has also struggled selling games in Japan as well as you can see by the top 50 XBOX 360 games in Japan . Western developed RPGs like Oblivion sell like hotcakes in the US, but only pulled in about 72k in sales overseas. This is because the Japanese culture tends to lean towards more eastern developed RPGs such as Final Fantasy and tend to shy away from RPGs by developers like Bethesda.
Will this trend change? Will Microsoft be welcomed back with a successor console? Only time (and future sales) will tell.
*Header image from Giant Bomb .