While Xbox may be all the rage among gamers in the US and Europe, in Japan it ranks a distant 3rd in the console wars. However Microsoft's persistance may start to pay off when Kinect is released later this year.
Why is Xbox gaining attention in Japan now?
I've attended Tokyo Game Show for the last 5 years, and each year Microsoft's booth didn't attract nearly as many gamers as the rest of the booths; despite hiring booth babes, paying off Japanese game companies to port their games to Xbox, raffling off free games or accessories, and hiring famed Dragon Ball Z artist Akira Toriyama for the art work of the exlusive JRPG-style game Blue Dragon.
Photo by LonelyBob
However for the first time Microsoft's Xbox booth at Tokyo Game Show 2010 was packed with lines of gamers waiting hours to play games using the new Kinect accessory for Xbox 360. I waited over 2 hours to play 10 minutes of volley ball in Kinect Sports, and I admit Microsoft has nailed the controlls rivalling Wii Sports.
It looks like the combination of a new game play mechanism, Wii Sports like games, and cute games that kids and ladies enjoy with virtual pets in Kinectimals. Plus Sony's continued loss of exclusive titles such as new Final Fantasy titles being released to both Xbox and Playstation 3, Japanese gamers don't need to worry if their favorite JRPGs will be available if they get an Xbox instead of a PS3.