No, it’s not the U.S. and it’s perhaps the last place that everyone thought it would be. Xbox’s fastest-growing market has been revealed to be none other than Japan, which is the home country of their rivals; Sony PlayStation and Nintendo.
Talking to IGN Japan, Xbox’s Asia head Jeremy Hinton said:
“Japan is our fastest-growing market worldwide.
We’ve seen phenomenal growth within this last twelve months in Japan.
And that’s new people coming into our ecosystem, that’s people signing up for Game Pass, that’s people buying accessories or games on PC.
So we’re seeing really phenomenal growth coming out of Japan to be top of that list for us.”
What’s interesting is that a high percentage of this growth can be attributed to Japanese players who have never owned an Xbox before.
“There is no doubt that the demand is absolutely growing in Japan, and I see that in the data that I can see, we have a really high percentage of consoles being bought by people who have never owned Xbox consoles in the past.
And the next segment of consumers buying consoles are upgrading from Xbox 360, which was quite a successful generation for us in Japan.
So we’re seeing strong leading indicators in terms of us reaching new people.
Demand is certainly higher, we see stock sell out within minutes.”
The most popular Xbox console in Japan is the cheaper and less powerful Xbox Series S.
“I think that we are seeing stronger demand for the Series S in Japan.
I’ve certainly seen a lot of people sharing their new console purchases on Twitter talking about how cute and small and appealing that is for a lot of people.
So we’re definitely seeing stronger demand for that.”
Japanese gamers aren’t the only ones embracing the Xbox brand. There have also been increased interest from Japanese developers.
“We’ve got more Japanese-developed content in our ecosystem now than we’ve had at any point within our history.
I think we have more development kits with independent developers in Japan than we’ve ever had in our history before, and there’s a lot of talent and a growing independent scene in Japan.”
As a result, Xbox is making Japan one of the priority regions for Microsoft’s first-party localisation.
“Microsoft Games Studios’ first-party commitment is full localization for an important market like Japan.
That’s our commitment moving forward, and that is a change from what we’ve done historically, where it’s been made on an individual title-by-title basis.
But we recognise for people to feel like a community and for us to grow into new places, we want to ensure a level of commitment and understanding.”
Xbox recently had a great presentation during E3 2021 alongside Bethesda, revealing games like Forza Horizon 5, Starfield, The Outer Worlds 2, and more. Check out all the games that they announced by heading over here.