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Speaking during the company’s Tokyo Game Show showcase on Thursday, Xbox boss Phil Spencer said the platform holder has learnt from past mistakes and intends to better cater to Japanese players this console generation.
That will include launching Xbox Series X and Series S in Japan on November 10—”day and date with our biggest global markets”—and bringing cloud gaming service xCloud to the country “in the first half of 2021”.
Spencer said: “If you’ve been an Xbox player in the years past, the power and convenience of console will continue to be important to you and supported by the upcoming Xbox Series X, but we understand that players embrace the freedom of choice and have different ways that they want to play. We’re working to create an ecosystem where you choose what you want to play, where you want to play, and on the device you choose.
“And in Japan, we’re seeing the community embrace this freedom to play. Since we launched Xbox Game Pass for both console and PC in Japan this past April, we’ve seen more players on Xbox devices, games and services than in any time in our history in the market. Japan’s Xbox Live gaming MAU (monthly active users) grew 82 percent year-over-year this summer. We’re so humbled to see players enjoying our games and services.”
Just prior to Xbox’s TGS Showcase, Microsoft cut the Xbox Series S price in Japan by 3,000 JPY ($29/£23) to 29,980 JPY ($284/£223).
Earlier this year Spencer said Xbox’s market position in Japan wasn’t acceptable and pledged to do “a much better job” with the Series X launch in the region.
He also expressed a desire to acquire an Asian game developer, “in particular a Japanese studio”, on multiple occasions in 2019.
It was also confirmed during Xbox’s TGS showcase that Microsoft Flight Simulator will receive the first in a series of world updates next week.
Focused on Japan, the free update will include an upgraded digital elevation map, high-resolution 3D photogrammetry for six Japanese cities (Sendai, Takamatsu, Tokushima, Tokyo, Utsunomiya, and Yokohama), and six handcrafted local airports (Hachijojima, Kerama, Kushiro, Nagasaki, Shimojishima, and Suwanosejima).