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You Only Launch Twice

Ken Weeks

There's an old Japanese Proverb that says "You only live twice. Once when you're born, and once when you stare death in the face." It looks like the same goes for launches, at least when it comes to the Xbox 360 in Japan. According to Japanese wholesalers, MS will announce next week that they are relaunching the console in Nipon this June due to lackluster sales (currently trailing the unimpressive numbers of the first Xbox). It's not cleaur if "relaunch" means new pricing and bundles, or simply a re-vamped marketing campaign focusing on local products like Ninety-Nine Nights and Chromehounds. My guess is Microsoft will down-play any talk of a "do-over" and simply call this a new marketing campaign.

James Bond managed to survive his own death and returned to save the world, not to mention blow up a fake volcano. Will Microsoft's mulligan result in a similar comeback for the Xbox 360, or is the Land of the Rising Sony simply too tough a market for anything beyond the lowest expectations? Does the console really need a "fresh start" this early on?

For discussion purposes, here are the m-create numbers for hardware sales in Japan March 20-26:

PS2: 34169 Gamecube: 1458  Xbox360: 1415 Xbox: 108

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