Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has said he’s humbled to see Japan’s Xbox Series X and S pre-order allocation quickly sell out in the region.
Pre-orders for the next-gen consoles opened at midnight Japan time, and retailers including Amazon Japan, Yodobashi, Softmap, BicCamera and Microsoft’s official Japanese store quickly sold out of their allocation for both consoles.
Given Xbox’s historically poor market performance in Japan, stock is unlikely to have been high. Regardless, it’s a positive start in a country where Xbox has typically struggled.
Speaking to Famitsu on Friday (translated by VGC contributor Robert Sephazon), Spencer called the pre-sale performance “the first step in a much longer marathon” and said Microsoft would ship more consoles before and after Series X and S’s November launch.
“It humbles me to consider how well the Xbox Series X/S has been welcomed by Japanese fans,” he said.
“With the goals we’re working towards for the Xbox Series X/S, this is only the first step in a much longer marathon, but I’m very happy to know how much everyone is expecting from us, and it motivates us even more when pre orders sell out.”
Asked if the overall launch shipment would be increased for Japan, in light of the pre-order performance, Spencer suggested that demand would exceed supply in the near future.
“We absolutely plan to ship even more consoles in the future,” he said. “However, before and after launch, demand generally exceeds supply.
“Moving forward, we would like to be able to meet demand within a few months after launch, particularly in the Japanese market, where we are thinking of future development based on a long-term outlook.”
Xbox kicked off its Japanese promotion on Thursday during the all-digital Tokyo Game Show, where it highlighted local games coming to Series X and S including Resident Evil 7, Capcom’s Pragmata, SNK’s Samurai Spirits and Yuji Naka’s Balan Wonderland.
Earlier on Thursday, Microsoft Japan had even announced a small price cut for the Series S model, to put a 10,000 yen ($96 / £75) gap between it and Sony’s Digital Edition PlayStation 5.
Speaking during the TGS live stream on Thursday, Xbox boss Phil Spencer claimed the platform holder had learnt from past mistakes and intended to better cater to Japanese players during 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 claimed that since Xbox Game Pass launched in Japan in April, Xbox had seen “more players on Xbox devices, games and services than in any time in our history in the market.”
The exec expressed a desire to acquire an Asian game developer, “in particular a Japanese studio”, on multiple occasions in 2019.