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Japan fails to catch X360 fever

But it turns out low prices at Sofmap are unrelated to popularity.

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

Gamers may be clamouring to get their hands on the console in Europe and the US, but it seems Microsoft still has a bit of work to do when it comes to convincing the Japanese that Xbox 360 is The Future.

According to market research firm Media Create, only 28 per cent of the consoles shipped in the territory were sold over the launch weekend - which amounts to actual sales of just under 42,000 units.

But cheer up, Uncle Microsoft - at least the 360 is doing better than the original Xbox, of which the Japanese have purchased just 500,000 units in the history of the world ever.

There's good news at least in that a report from gaming blog Kotaku - that things were so bad, some shops were slashing the cost of the console from 38,800 yen (that's just over £180 to you) to 18,800 yen (£88) if you took out an ISP contract - turned out not to have anything to do with the console's popularity. Retailer Sofmap's offer actually applied to a great many items.

And let's not forget, you've already got loads of brilliant Japanese designers on board, including Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, Street Fighter and Resi man Yoshiki Okamoto and music-crazed genius Tetsuya Mizuguchi. Once they come up with the goods, surely the Japanese will go mental for the Xbox 360... Especially if the price is down to £1.99 by then.

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