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Xbox sinks in Japan

Launch day figures rival those of the Dreamcast and Saturn...

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

February 22nd has been and gone, the first day of Microsoft's intrusion into the Japanese videogame market proper. Despite Bill Gates describing the launch as going "super well" to CNN, Bloomberg reports launch sales of approximately 123,000 for the first weekend, approximately half the number Microsoft shipped to the region, with a software tie-in ratio of 1.59, a huge drop from the 2.4 sell-through seen in the States where bundles were almost obligatory. Even the GameCube, launched days after the September 11th attacks and reportedly a slow-starter in Japan sold 175,000 units in its first weekend, while the mighty PlayStation 2 sold a towering 680,000 units. The biggest selling game was apparently Dead or Alive 3 with roughly 70,000 copies selling, with Genma Onimusha and Project Gotham Racing the only two games other than Tecmo's offering to head north of 10,000 units. Sales of the limited edition unit are said to be the most impressive, but one would expect that a lot of those went to those planning to export them, including the likes of Hong Kong-based Lik Sang and other vendors. The Japanese launch was always going to be an interesting affair, and it seems that the Japanese public have answered in unison. One has to expect games to drive the market though, and so in the long run the prize is still there to be taken. Nevertheless, we wait with baited breath for the product of Microsoft PR crisis talks and spin doctor meetings, which must be going on in earnest deep within the bowels of Redmond. Let's hope it tops their November specials. Perhaps they could include contact details for the various Japanese Xbox owners… Related Feature - Ménage à Trois

Source - ConsoleWire

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