Microsoft Japan held a press briefing on the the management policies of fiscal year 2014 today, and the journalists in attendance immediately noticed that things didn’t bode too well for the release of Xbox One in the country when the console wasn’t really mentioned during the briefing itself. Yet the Japanese gaming site 4Gamer still managed to grab an interview and to ask what’s up with Microsoft’s upcoming console in the archipelago of the rising sun.
As part of the interview Microsoft Japan President and CEO Yasuyuki Higuchi confirmed that the Xbox One won’t land on the Japanese shelves any time soon:
For the launch of Xbox One Japan is a Tier 2 country and not a Tier 1 country, so it’ll come with the second wave, that will be delayed a little bit [compared to North America].
When the interviewer pressed him to confirm that the console won’t be launched in 2013 he did just that:
That’s right. It’ll launch after the Tier 1 markets.
Luckily, according to Higuchi-san, Japanese gamers should not have to wait too long after the western release:
It won’t be delayed too much from the North American release.
Microsoft’s executives knew they were walking on eggshells as they talked to the press, since the Xbox brand isn’t exactly popular in Japan, and when the reporter concluded the interview telling Microsoft Vice President and Executive Officer of the Consumer & Partner Group Haruaki Kayama that he’d wait for further information on Xbox One soon, he responded laughing:
Yes, so please don’t report too negatively.
One thing is for sure, while Goichi Suda thinks Japan will soon embrace Xbox, the new console doesn’t exactly seem off to a strong start in the country. At the very least, it’ll be late.