At the Reuters Technology and Telecoms Summit in Tokyo today, Chief Xbox Officer Robbie Bach announced an expected lag of seven to ten days between launches of the Xbox 360 in North America, Europe, and Japan (”in the same holiday season”) to give Microsoft “a chance to manage the logistics.” MS has previously confirmed that it will be launching its next console in a simultaneous worldwide release during Holiday 2005, and most assuredly in the month of November (if rumors of the 4th or 25th are to be believed).
Bach also had something to say regarding recent polls that placed the 360 well behind its competition from Sony and Nintendo in the minds of Japanese consumers: “None of that is worth anything…. Ultimately if we had great games, people would have put a big, black Xbox in the living room. We learned a lot from the first launch of Xbox in Japan. People didn’t get excited about the games.”
Unfortunately, analysts don’t have high hopes for Bill’s brighter box in the Land of the Rising Sun, either. Tokyo-based Deutsche Securities analyst Takashi Oya states: “Microsoft will have done well if it gets 10 percent market share in Japan,” and KBC Securities Analyst Hiroshi Kamide believes the 360 will be a success if “sales match the market share of Nintendo’s next offering.” None of those interviewed think the Xbox can take the PlayStation’s number-one Japanese market position, however, at least in this next console cycle.
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