Xbox sales 'small in Japan'

Japanese game-magazine publisher Enterbrain announced 2002 game-console hardware sales figures Friday, stating that Microsoft has sold only 190,029 Xbox game systems since its February 22 launch. The figures mean the US software giant still hasn't sold off its initial Japanese shipment of 250,000 consoles, each one priced at 34,800 yen (about £190). Microsoft held large Xbox events in Tokyo and other major Japanese cities on the day of launch, which created media interest. This major rollout was later marred by user complaints that the system scratched up game discs and DVDs. Microsoft initially ignored the claims, but did an about-face March 7 and offered free replacements for all malfunctioning systems. Game dearth
Hirokazu Hamamura, Enterbrain president and publisher of Japanese magazine Famitsu, commented that the Xbox's problem isn't the scratching controversy, but the lack of interesting software for the Japanese market. He says: "They really need killer titles. Even if they cut the price of Xbox, I don't think that will help." Nintendo has shipped 1.29 million GameCube systems in Japan since its launch last September, and over four million PlayStation 2 consoles have been sold in that country in the last three months. Microsoft sold 1.5 million Xboxes in the first six weeks after the US launch, but is having trouble attaining those figures in the rest of the world. Discuss this story at

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