Xbox Is Seeing “Phenomenal Growth” In Japan

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The Xbox platform has historically struggled in Japan, but that seems to be changing. Xbox’s business boss for Asia, Jeremy Hinton, recently said that Japan is actually the “fastest growing market worldwide” for Xbox, repeating something Xbox boss Phil Spencer said in 2020.

Hinton told IGN Japan (translated by IGN US) that the Xbox platform overall has seen “phenomenal growth” in the past 12 months in Japan across console and PC.

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“That’s new people coming into our ecosystem, that’s people signing up for Game Pass, that’s people buying accessories or games on PC. So we’re seeing really phenomenal growth coming out of Japan to be top of that list for us,” he said.

Hinton went on to say that he is observing a “really high percentage” of Xbox consoles sold in Japan to people who have never owned an Xbox before. “And the next segment of consumers buying consoles are upgrading from Xbox 360, which was quite a successful generation for us in Japan. So we’re seeing strong leading indicators in terms of us reaching new people. Demand is certainly higher, we see stock sell out within minutes,” he said.

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Also in the interview, Hinton said the Xbox Series S model is seeing stronger demand than the Series X and that more new Japanese game content is being made now than ever before in Xbox’s history.

Microsoft has one wholly owned game development studio in Japan, which is Tango Gameworks, the developer of Ghostwire: Tokyo and The Evil Within. Microsoft assumed ownership of the studio following its acquisition of ZeniMax/Bethesda.

“I think we have more development kits with independent developers in Japan than we’ve ever had in our history before, and there’s a lot of talent and a growing independent scene in Japan,” Hinton said.

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It’s been a big week for Xbox, which held its E3 2021 briefing on June 13 with big news on Halo Infinite, Starfield, Redfall, Sea of Thieves, and more.

  • E3 2021: Schedule, Participants, And What To Expect
  • Xbox & Bethesda E3 Showcase Announcements: Starfield, Halo Infinite, Diablo 2
  • Nintendo Direct E3 2021 Announcements: Breath Of The Wild 2, Metroid Dread, Advance Wars
  • E3 2021 Games Confirmed So Far
  • Ubisoft Forward E3 2021 Announcements: Far Cry 6, Mario + Rabbids 2, Avatar
  • Square Enix E3 2021 Stream Announcements: Guardians Of The Galaxy, Final Fantasy Origin, Babylon’s Fall
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