Historically, Xbox has struggled to properly break into the Japanese market. Whether it be cultural differences or a lack of third party support, Xbox has never sold well in Japan. In years gone by, the Xbox team has tried to make inroads into the Japanese market, by reaching out to developers and publishers. The current generation has failed to see much progress though, with Xbox still lagging behind in Japan. However, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer’s recent comments seem a little more positive than before.
On January 20, Phil Spencer posted on Twitter about gaming in Japan. He said that he was out there talking with developers and publishers, and that there was excitement there about 2020 and the future. Whilst nothing is confirmed in terms of games, it certainly seems like progress is being made from 2018’s similar post.
Great to be back in Japan with the team talking and listening to amazing studios and publishers about 2020 and beyond. Really strong energy and excitement here about gaming's future.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) January 20, 2020
Spencer putting a date on his discussions is key here. It seems as though the team are putting the extra effort into making their mark in Japan for next gen. They will be competing against a platform holder who of course, have strong ties with the Japanese market. Therefore, it’s probably a good time to try and get publishers on board.
If you want to read more about the history of Xbox in Japan, check out Chirag’s article here.