Japan has ludicrous reasons for hating the Xbox

There’s no denying that Japan hasn’t embraced the Xbox brand as well as it could have. Mostly because it isn’t Japanese. According to former Xbox chief Ed Fries, Japan was ready to dump on the original system before it even launched, and had some absurd reasons for doing so.

 “I was told a number of crazy things, like the controller should weigh the same as water in your hands,” reveals Fries. “We heard all kind of negative things from Japan, like we couldn’t use the name Xbox because ‘X’ means death, and the console couldn’t be black, because that also was the colour of death.

“The first Xbox consoles we released in Japan weren’t black, in fact, they were a smokey colour — but I was always thinking to myself, ‘hang on, isn’t the PS2 black?!’”

Japan hated the Xbox controller because it wasn’t made out of water. Amazing. In all seriousness, complaints over the color give the air of a market that was just looking for things to complain about, especially given the color of the PS2. 

Inside Story: The birth of Xbox [Develop] [Image]

There’s no denying that Japan hasn’t embraced the Xbox brand as well as it could have. Mostly because it isn’t Japanese. According to former Xbox chief Ed Fries, Japan was ready to dump on the original system before it even launched, and had some absurd reasons for doing so.

 “I was told a number of crazy things, like the controller should weigh the same as water in your hands,” reveals Fries. “We heard all kind of negative things from Japan, like we couldn’t use the name Xbox because ‘X’ means death, and the console couldn’t be black, because that also was the colour of death.

“The first Xbox consoles we released in Japan weren’t black, in fact, they were a smokey colour — but I was always thinking to myself, ‘hang on, isn’t the PS2 black?!’”

Japan hated the Xbox controller because it wasn’t made out of water. Amazing. In all seriousness, complaints over the color give the air of a market that was just looking for things to complain about, especially given the color of the PS2. 

Inside Story: The birth of Xbox [Develop] [Image]

Jim Sterling