Kaplan, Nintendo of America's VP, has said to IGN that currently, "very few people are aware of or anticipating Xbox 2" in Japan. She said the Xbox currently enjoys "no recognition at all" in the company, a statement largely based on fact, as can be seen in the weekly hardware figures from the country.

"Microsoft has had no success in the Japanese market and they were required to attract such developers in order to have a chance in the market," she said, arguing that Xbox's low sales can be put in part down to a lack of popular franchises from third-parites. "Further, those developers won't be making software for that system that are currently known and loved on other systems, such as Kirby."

This generation, however, Microsoft has agreed deals with several high-profile Japanese developers to create Xbox 360 titles, though Kaplan believes these deals are less important than seem, since they don't involve any major established franchises.

Meanwhile for Nintendo, Kaplan expects Japan to be remain a very profitable market. It remains "a very successful ... market for Nintendo," she said, "and we anticipate this to be true for the indefinite future. What might make more sense is to say that it's changing. All companies in Japan are experiencing these changes. Portable play is one additional arena that remains vibrant."

And it's in the portable market Nintendo has recently faced the PSP, which is now being comfortably outsold by the DS week in, week out. But Sony deserves respect, Kaplan believes, for getting to the market first with the PS2, and also for the quality of the offering which it has created with the PS2.

"Launching early in the Japanese market has been the key to success for Sony's PlayStation 2," stated Kaplan. "Their early launch date and marketing push along with a solid library of games gave them momentum that they still enjoy today."

So what about Revolution? Surely that will suffer allowing it's competitors to launch first? Kaplan disagrees, and says that Nintendo's next offering will be extremely attractive: "It is too early for Nintendo to discuss our strategy for Revolution, but I can tell you that we have much experience running a successful global video game company, and Nintendo will come to the dance extremely well dressed."

Let's just hope she's right.