Is Microsoft planning to omit Japan from its global Xbox One rollout?

Is Microsoft planning to omit Japan from its global Xbox One rollout?
Will Japanese gamers get a shot at the Xbox One?

Gamers in Asia will not get their hands on the Xbox One console until late 2014 and, somewhat surprisingly, Japan isn't mentioned among the countries primed for a roll-out in the region.

Microsoft announced that the Xbox One will arrive in 21 countries in November 2013, but the far east will have to wait longer, as part of the "staged approach" Microsoft is taking with its marketing.

Microsoft's Alan Bowman, regional vice president for sales and marketing in Asia, mentioned select launches in South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, Singapore and India during this period, but not Japan.

The company has traditionally struggled to shift its Xbox consoles in the Land of the Rising Sun, which is, naturally, a stronghold for domestic giants Sony and Nintendo.

Not big in Japan

It may well be that Microsoft may be abandoning Japan completely, or that Bowman simply made an oversight when chatting to the Wall Street Journal about the launch plans.

Regardless of the unclear plans for Japan, Microsoft is plotting more licensing deals localised entertainment content for gamers in the region, including a denser line-up of top games including the new FIFA and Assassin's Creed titles.

A Microsoft spokesperson refused to confirm which countries will be getting the console and when they would be getting it.

The company told The Verge: "In the coming year Xbox One will continue to roll out around the world. Stay tuned for details about future markets and timings."

Do you think Microsoft could really turn its back on the Japanese market? Let us know in the comments section below.

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.