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360 Bombs in Japan; Price Slashed in Half

According to reports from Reuters, the Xbox 360 has bombed in its Japanese debut. Only about 62,000 of the 159,000 Xbox 360 units available were purchased on Saturday and Sunday, according to an independent study by Enterbrain, which publishes leading Japanese game magazine Famitsu. That was also less than half the 123,000 units Microsoft sold of its previous generation Xbox in the first three days of sales in February 2002.

Microsoft has been struggling to gain ground in Japan against home-grown rivals Nintendo and Sony, whose PlayStation 2 console is the global best seller. The world’s biggest software maker sold fewer than 500,000 of its original Xbox consoles in Japan, where Sony is estimated to have 80 percent share. “There is still plenty of opportunity for Xbox 360 to increase market share in Japan,” said Munetatsu Matsui of Famitsu Xbox 360. Aside from the dismal sales figures, the console has also reportedly seen a steep price cut from $350 to $150 with Xbox Live service.

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