It’s no secret at this point that, historically, Xbox sales have not been kind to Microsoft in relation to the Japanese market. While both Nintendo and Sony still hold back when it comes to their respective flagship consoles, Microsoft has always been behind with the Xbox brand in Japan. In 2021, still sitting far behind its rivals, Xbox has managed to turn its low numbers around, selling more Xbox Series X/S consoles than Xbox One in a year.
Sales figures for Xbox, PlayStation and Switch have just started pouring in from Japan via GamesIndustry.biz and Famitsu with a report that the Xbox Series X/S console has sold 95,598 units in the past year. Coupled with consoles sold at launch by the end of 2020, that puts the Xbox at around 125,000 Xbox Series X/S’ sold in Japan to date. For comparison, the Xbox One sold about 115,000 in its Life span In Japan, which means the Xbox Series X/S has already outpaced its predecessor’s lifetime sales by just over a year and a few changes.
While this number of units is nothing to write home about, compared to the millions already sold elsewhere around the world, it is a real milestone for the Xbox brand in Japan and only for the American brand in the West. Indicates future success. Hopefully this success means more cross-pollination between the Japanese franchise and upcoming Xbox consoles, such as the previously exclusive titles seen on Nintendo and Sony consoles.
Although it has to be said that this is a win for the Xbox brand in Japan, it still sits miles behind its rivals as it was reported that the Nintendo Switch sold 5.3 million units in 2021, while the PlayStation 5 sold 942,798 units . Even the PlayStation 4 sold 103,786 units, besting the Xbox Series X/S by a small margin, which isn’t great considering the console is a little over 8 years old at this point.
Still, Microsoft and Xbox are making slow but steady progress in the consciousness of Japanese gamers and that’s always a good thing. The console market in Japan is already slow (aside from Nintendo’s success) so the numbers probably won’t come close to what the Xbox brand can achieve elsewhere around the world. However, this is progress in the Japanese space and it means good things not just for the gamers out there, but everywhere.
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