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Microsoft lacks confidence in Japan, losing next-gen battle without competition


The latest out of Tokyo reports that PlayStation 2 outsold Xbox 360 by 21,236 units in the last week of June. Not good. Sure the Japanese launch of Xbox 360 was marred by a lack of content targeted at Japanese consumer interests, but Mizuguchi's N3 Ninety Nine Nights has since been released, and so has Final Fantasy XI -- though we suspect Japanese gamers are content playing FFXI on their PS2s, as they've been doing since 2002.

With Sony and Nintendo on the verge of launching their new consoles, Microsoft has run out of time to gain a significant foothold in Japan. A May poll, conducted by Cross Marketing, found that out of 366 self-identified gamers, 256 of them want a PlayStation 3. Of the respondents that were permitted to select multiple next-generation consoles, 127 said they wanted Wii. Only 93 said they wanted Xbox 360. "I can't say I'm beaming with confidence in Japan," president and chief executive officer of Microsoft Japan Darren Huston admitted at a company event last Thursday. Not good.

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