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Bach slams Xbox 360 survey

'Not worth anything' blasts Xboss

Chief Xbox officer Robbie Bach has blasted recent Japanese research into gamers' attitudes to next generation consoles, and claimed "None of that is worth anything".

As we reported yesterday, just 5.8 per cent of those quizzed said they were interested in buying an Xbox 360 - with Microsoft's competitors receiving far superior results from the 500 male and 500 female respondents.

When the issue came up at the Reuters Technology and Telecoms Summit in Tokyo this week, Bach hissed: "Ultimately if we had great games, people would have put a big, black Xbox in the living room," assuming their living rooms were that big.

Although Bach's assertion was a refreshingly honest admission that the Xbox catalogue was ill-suited to the Japanese gamer, it nevertheless discounts that even superb Jap-centric titles such as Ninja Gaiden and Panzer Dragoon Orta didn’t help its cause.

Clearly, Microsoft has rolled up its sleeves in this round of the battle, and sees that getting first out of the next gen blocks with the Xbox 360 will help the firm carve inroads into the all-important and hugely influential Japanese market. Japanese-targeted titles such as Ninety-Nine Nights and Blue Dragon certainly won't hurt, but will they do enough?

As illustration of just how badly the Xbox performed in Japan, for every Xbox sold to date, 38 PS2s have shifted, and that's a gap Microsoft is desperate to close. Current predictions from US research firm IDC reckon that the 360 will still be the underdog in Japan in the next generation, but has forecast that the console will sell over seven times better than the original machine did, with 3.5 million units sold by 2009.

However, the PS3 is still tipped by analysts to win the next gen war in Japan, with some eight million units forecast for the same period.

But as Bach suggests, if the quality of the games is high enough, then there's every chance the Japanese gamer will finally warm to the Microsoft system - but doing that will require huge investment from the Redmond giant to secure some headline-grabbing Japanese-centric exclusives in the same way that Sony has done over the years.