Microsoft Attacks Japanese Video Game Market with More Affordable Xbox 360

Microsoft Readies More Affordable Xbox 360 for Japan

by Anton Shilov
02/05/2008 | 11:20 PM

Microsoft Corp. plans to release a more affordable version of its latest Xbox 360 game console on the Japanese market in early March, the company announced. The move is set to be made to boost popularity of the game system in Japan, however, it is completely unclear whether it will be a success.

 

Microsoft Xbox 360 Arcade edition is scheduled to emerge in Japan on the 6th of March at the price of ¥27800 ($261). The model is already available in the U.S., where it substituted the so-called “Core” version of the Xbox 360 back in late 2007. However, up to now there was no truly affordable version of the Xbox 360 in Japan, but only “Premium” and “Elite” flavours were available.

The Japanese version Microsoft Xbox 360 Arcade will be the same as sold in the USA: it features a wireless controller, a high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) connection to enable high-definition output if desired and 256MB of memory useful for storing games and entertainment content. The novelty does not feature a hard disk drive, but, just as the Xbox 360 core, it can be upgraded with a special HDD afterwards.

The world’s largest maker of software also included the same game pack as in the U.S. with the new video game system: Pacman Championship Edition, Uno, Luxor 2, Boom Boom Rocket and Feeding Frenzy.

Microsoft Xbox 360 Arcade game console is aimed at casual gamers and is positioned to compete against Nintendo Wii. However, considering the fact that the portfolio of games available for the Xbox 360 still lacks as many titles for children, novice gamers and casual gamers as the catalog for Nintendo Wii does, Microsoft’s product does not have many chances to become truly successful, especially in Japan, where Nintendo and Sony are very strong.

Microsoft Xbox 360 console is based around triple-core microprocessor developed by IBM, high-definition visual processing unit designed by ATI Technologies, I/O controller engineered by SiS and some other key components. The gaming machine provides a broad set of multimedia capabilities in addition to games. Currently Microsoft Xbox 360 is available for $279, $349 or $449 in the USA depending on the version. Microsoft also sells add-on HD DVD drive for the system for $129.