Ch-ch-ch-changes for 'Tier 2 country' Japan
I think the $400 million NFL partnership was emblematic of the direction Microsoft is heading with the Xbox One: entertainment center dominance focusing on the region it already excels in, North America. Microsoft Japan recently held a press briefing, reported on by 4gamer.net and translated by Edge, and talked about how the Xbox One might go about its Japanese release.
“(Xbox One) is geared towards a Western lifestyle," Microsoft Japan CEO Yasuyuki Higuchi said, "and we’re looking at whether or not to launch it ‘as is’ in Japan. We’re still figuring out how to deal with things like music and video services in each country. To be honest, (releasing it in Japan) as is would be difficult.”
Higushi also said the Xbox One's Japanese release, “will not be delayed very much behind the US." For the One's release, Microsoft has deemed Japan is a "Tier 2" country. "In Japan it is the case that gamers are stepping away from their consoles and using tablets and smartphones to play games instead,” said Higuchi. “It will be difficult to expand the volume of consoles in the living room." This obviously presents a challenge for Microsoft's attention demanding, live (American) TV sporting Xbox One.
Microsoft Japan’s Consumer & Partner Group head Haruaki Kayama said, “We have to prepare content that is relevant to Japan. ‘What is the best, what will today’s consumers in Japan respond to? What content is in demand?’ We’re considering these questions now. There’s no point in a solution that does not match the market. Even if we bring NFL (on board for Japan), haha… Japan is difficult. I’m almost tempted to ask for ideas.”
Something About Japan: Microsoft’s Xbox One gameplan [Edge Online]