Inafune said Microsoft’s Japan launch delay for the Xbox One comes down to the shrinking Japanese market size.
“I’m not a first-party person, I’m not part of a first-party company, so this can only be what I’m assuming, but if you look at how big the share of the Japanese market is when it comes to consoles now, it’s continually shrinking, to the point where it’s not even over 10 percent,” Inafune speculated of the Microsoft strategy.
Even with the idea that Japan may be an afterthought for Microsoft with the Xbox One, Inafune said though he may not like it as a Japanese creator, it makes sense to launch first in bigger North American and European markets.
“… It makes sense to prioritize the markets that are naturally going to have a larger installed base and larger sales,” Inafune said.
Microsoft hasn’t had a great track record in Japan, but Inafune said he wouldn’t count on the company to automatically fail again with the Xbox One.
How Microsoft fares in terms of launching the Xbox One in Japan, Inafune said, comes down to marketing.
“(Success in Japan comes down to) how they’re able to market it, and how they’re able to convince gamers that they have the content they want,” Inafune said.
The Xbox One launches on Nov. 22 in the United States, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
No firm release date for the Xbox One has been released on when the console will hit shelves in Japan, but it should be sometime in 2014.