| |

Gloomy Xbox 360 Prospects in Japan

Forbes.com is reporting that, “Despite the strong debut of its Xbox 360 in the US, Microsoft Corp is likely to struggle to displace well-entrenched incumbents in the Japanese video-game console market when it launches the Xbox 360 here at the weekend, analysts said.”

“No one — consumers or software makers — has been talking about the Xbox 360 lately, although we only have a couple of days before the release,’ Tokai Tokyo Research Center analyst Nobuyuki Kawamata said. “Given also the fact that basic functions of Xbox 360 are inferior to Sony’s next-generation machine, and that there are not many newly-developed titles ready for the Japanese launch, Xbox 360 is not likely to become a must-buy console here in Japan,” Kawamata said.

Disclosure: We may earn a commission from links on this page

Hirotoshi Murakami, an analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Securities, also believes the Xbox 360’s prospects are gloomy. “We had previously thought that Xbox 360 could gain a major share of the Japanese market by taking some market share from front-runner Sony Computer,” Murakami said. “But we now think that such a prospect may not be realized, given the limited attractiveness of its titles and its lukewarm functions.”

“Given declining enthusiasm for the Xbox 360 by Japanese players and software makers, it would be almost impossible for Microsoft to overtake Sony or even Nintendo,” said Shinko Securities analyst Yuichi Kobayashi. “Even from the global viewpoint, unless Sony fails to bring the next-generation PlayStation 3 consoles to the market on time, Microsoft appears to have almost no chance to be the industry leader,” he added.