This year, Xbox celebrates its 20th anniversary. Already two decades of video games with quite incredible consoles like the Xbox 360, which has brought so much and changed the video game industry. A mixed success for the American firm, with nice achievements but also some gray areas.

In Japan, Microsoft has never managed to compete with Sony and its PlayStation. Not even against Nintendo and its various home and portable consoles. However, this new generation could well be revolutionary for Xbox in the land of the rising sun …

Xbox in Japan: The fastest growing market

Xbox Japan logo


Available since November 2020 in Japan, but also around the world, the new Xbox Series X / S have not made a flying start. Even before the release, Microsoft the price of Xbox Series S was already lowering following very disappointing pre-orders.

A week after the release of the consoles, we learned that it had sold about six times more PS5 than Xbox Series X | S on Japanese soil. Figures which are not surprising when one knows the difficulties encountered by Microsoft to impose itself in Japan.

A few months later, the situation is much more positive. During an interview with the Japanese editorial staff of IGN, Jeremy Hinton, the head of the Asian region at Xbox, gave very reassuring elements about Xbox in Japan. Despite a complicated start against Sony and the PS5, the Japanese market represents the strongest growth worldwide for the Xbox branch. This growth is mainly due to the new ways of playing offered by Microsoft for several months.

We have seen phenomenal growth in Japan over the past 12 months. And that corresponds to the arrival of new consumers in our ecosystem, to people who buy a Game Pass subscription or to people who buy accessories or games on PC. There is no doubt that demand is genuinely increasing in Japan. It’s something that I perceive in the data that I can see. We have a very high percentage of consoles purchased by people who have never owned an Xbox console in the past. And the category of consumers who buy the new consoles is those who come straight from the Xbox 360, a generation in which we have had some success in Japan. We can therefore see strong indicators in terms of reaching new customers. The demand is clearly stronger and we see our stocks run out in a few minutes.

Jeremy Hinton, Asian Region Manager at Xbox

Recall that Microsoft had managed to sell more than 1.6 million Xbox 360 at the time, against only 140,000 Xbox One. Since November 2020, the Xbox Series X has sold 36,185 copies against 12,642 for the Series S. That is a total of 48,827 consoles in a few months. Xbox One sales are unlikely to hold up for long at this rate.