back to article Xbox 360 Arcade announced for Japan

A crucial showdown approaches for the console industry. Next month, Microsoft will ship a cut-price Xbox 360 in Japan, on the same day that Sony’s satin PlayStation 3 launches in the land of the rising sun. Arcade_Xbox Microsoft's Xbox 360 Arcade UK edition: no hard drive, but supports HDMI On 6 March, Microsoft will …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    Isn't this

    Just another pityful attempt from M$ to try and knock Nintendo and Sony out of the game....

    Hint to M$.... go home you're losing.. even the PS2 creates more sales in Japan than the xbox 360

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    No clue whatsoever

    The 360 had a entire year's advantage of being the only next-gen console for sale in Japan, yet when the PS3 went on sale, it took *4 weeks* to overtake it in total sales.

    Japan simply has no interest whatsoever in the 360. The best Microsoft could do for sales is to release a new SKU when there is a lull in PS3 activity, to try to tempt people away.

    So what do they do? Release on the same day as a new PS3 SKU. Do they honestly have no idea whatsoever? Maybe they are planning on demand being so high for the PS3 that it sells out on day 1, leaving a lot of gamers with their heart set on a next-gen console, a wad of cash, staring at an empty PS3 shelf and a stacked 360 shelf?

    Unfortunately, even in that case, most Japanese would go home and come back when the PS3 returned to stock.

    Muppets - hence Paris

  3. Christopher Rogers
    Flame

    @Anonymous Coward

    It capitalism, its sales, is competition its fighting rivals for business and market share. Therefore, your comment is fucking pointless.

  4. Joe K

    Too little, too late

    Its not the price of the machine, its the games. They just couldn't give a toss about the western tilt of the Xbox's line up.

    Japan is a lost cause for MS, they are wasting their time.

  5. Mark Ashworth
    Gates Horns

    @Christoper Rogers

    Maybe Anonymous Coward is just sick to death of M$'s push to become leaders of the world...

    I for one, enjoy seeing M$ fail.

  6. Ian

    I'm not sure why the comments about MS failing

    It's still got twice as many consoles out there than the PS3 and is gaining it's lead over it month on month even with decrease European sales and despite being a flop in Japan.

    It doesn't really matter how bad it's doing in Japan, the Japanese have always been afraid to buy products developed outside their own market so a company like Microsoft is never going to be able to release consumer hardware there and do well no matter how good a job they can do of it.

    The important point is that the 360 is in a clear second place and has no chance of losing that any time soon with the PS3 being so far behind however it's never of course going to catch up the Wii now either. The gaps between the 3 consoles are pretty solid and whilst a new Final Fantasy game may do wonders for the PS3's sales it's never going to be enough to catch it up to the 360 now when it has games like Fable 2, Gears 2 and so forth will nullify a large portion of those sales by matching them.

    We're far enough on in the game to tell the outcome of this console war, all hope is gone for the 360 in Japan, but similarly all hope is gone for the PS3 internationally. The Wii has triumphed this round, the 360 has come a clear second and the PS3 a clear last. Sony is nowhere near being able to drop it's prices to shift units like it did with the PS2 when it went cheap and so doesn't even have that on it's side whilst Nintendo and MS are able to drop prices to levels where consumers can make snap decisions on purchasing either system whenever they feel it'd be a good time to cut profits to gain user base.

  7. Highlander
    Alert

    Be advised

    Anyone buying an Xbox Arcade needs to be aware of something that may affect their purchase plans.

    Xbox 360 consoles without hard discs, that is the Core and Arcade systems, cannot play some games online. The most recent and notable example of this is Burnout Paradise. Burnout Paradise will not function online on Xbox360 unless your Xbox 360 has an HDD installed. The local flash storage is insuffic9ient for the caching requirements that the online play has.

    Microsoft removed the HDD from the core system prior to launch to make sure it could sell at a nice low price. Originally all 360s were to come with HDDs, however Microsoft were very sensitive to price and decided to remove it. At the time Devs weren't terribly pleased.

    Burnout Paradise is not the only game to have this kind of restriction on the 360, but it's the most recent one I'm aware of.

    Not that this will matter much to the Japanese market. Consumers there have shown a high degree of skepticism about Xbox 360. Something that I bet hasn't been helped by the console's reputation for frequent failure. Japanese consumers aren't that tolerant of unreliable products. And in a smaller home a box that has an external power supply and comes with wired controllers simply creates clutter than no one wants.

    Microsoft could do so much more to make a package that was attractive to Japanese consumers. Of course Japanese consumers are not the only ones who look for reliable units that don't clutter up the space with cables and extra boxes, and that don't sound like an older 727 at take off power when running a game....

  8. Mike Silver badge

    Japanese averse to non-Japanese development?

    Maybe today, when I'm not really following the business, but back in the heyday of arcade gaming (meaning, coin-operated games _in_ arcades), there were quite a few sales of games developed outside Japan. Of course, only a few of those sales were of games _built_ outside Japan. The other 20K per title were Japanese made counterfeits. But hey, they _were_ developed elsewhere. :-)

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Be advised - outright false.

    "Microsoft could do so much more to make a package that was attractive to Japanese consumers. Of course Japanese consumers are not the only ones who look for reliable units that don't clutter up the space with cables and extra boxes, and that don't sound like an older 727 at take off power when running a game...."

    Erm, you seem to be living about a year in the past. The 360 arcade uses the Falcon chipset so is neither unreliable or noisy, the external power supply makes the system no bigger than the PS3 which is much bigger to start with and the arcade now also comes with a wireless controller - it is in no way the same as the original core console that you seem to be referring to for some odd reason seeing as the core was never and will never be released in Japan now that the arcade has replaced it.

    The PS3 falls down in all these areas more so than the 360 - it's noisier, bigger and actually has a higher failure rate than the new Falcon chipset based 360s yet it's doing okay in Japan (albeit not as well as the Wii) so I'm not sure why you're churning out this FUD. The Wii is of course hands down the smallest and quietest of the consoles which should come as no suprise due to the lower spec hardware inside it.

    You're certainly right about Burnout not working online without the hard drive but it's not really a big deal, people who play online aren't likely to be interested in the core anyway and even if they decide they do want to play online at some point they can add the hard drive and still only being paying somewhere about half way between the Wii and PS3 pricewise.

    Perhaps more to the point is the fact that even if you can't play Burnout online the 360 still has more games you can play online that work on the arcade without a hard drive than the Wii and PS3 put together and far more single player games than the PS3 to boot. The Wii has built up a pretty nice single player library too now at least.

  10. Highlander

    @AC

    Post proof or retract.

    Falcon systems sport an identical internal design with a slightly revised motherboard. The 65nm CPU reduces the overall heat output, however since the real heat producer in the system is the GPU still kicking away at 90nm, the whole Falcon deal is a little bit of a mis-direct. True they put in a new heat sink, however since the placement of the GPU hasn't really improved and nor has the airflow, all they are doing is shifting a bit more heat to somewhere else in the casing. They (Falcon based 360s) still fail, and according to the Microsoft insiders who've spoken on the subject recently; Falcon based systems suffer RROD at about 10% of all systems per year.

    PS3 has a failure rate below 1%, whether you're talking about the original launch 20/60GB units, the first revision 80GB units (60GB in Europe) or the most recent 40GB units. There is no evidence anywhere to suggest anything to the contrary.

    Numerous comments by Xbox360 owners have been made here and on virtually every other news/comment site, blog and forum about just how incredibly noisy the 360 is in operation. I dare say you could get about a 100% hit rate searching for posts on Xbox forums with people complaining about the noise that the thing makes, Falcon or not.

    The point about the separate power supply isn't whether the overall volume of the 360 unit plus PSU equals the volume of the PS3. The point made was regarding having the endless number of additional cables and boxes flapping about. You know, wall to PSU, PSU to console. Console to controller. Console to TV, console to Net, console to second controller, and of course console to HD-DVD. Oh, wait forgot one - HD-DVD to wall(power), isn't that HD-DVD drive externally powered? I also hear it's a tad noisy too.

    If you can point to a validated link that shows the PS3 having a higher failure rate than the Xbox, do it, or retract.

    The point about Burnout Paradise online, dear and anonymous FUDster, is that a lot of mainstream gamers buy on price. So they perhaps choose the cost conscious XBox360, or someone else does when buying a gift. Then they buy Burnout Paradise, or a member of their family gets it for them, or perhaps even a friend. Cool, they think and boot it up, only to find that their efforts to go online with their newly minted XBL ready system can't play their game online, even with that $50 a year subscription.

    All of this was a point made about the fact that the Xbox Arcade pack was being launched in Japan. A country with notoriously small homes and quality conscious consumers. Therefore comments regarding the space efficiency and tidiness of the console are quite appropriate. As are comments regarding it's reliability and operational noise level. The point about Burnout Paradise relates to the simple fact that the Arcade system comes with a paltry 256MB of Flash, which is titchy by any measure. The Arcade pack is sold on the strengths of XBox Live, the Arcade aspect in particular, and yet there is an immensely popular current game that can't go online because Microseft elected not to put an HDD in their unit, even a cheap 20GB unit would have done the job. Hell, the original Xbox had a HDD in every unit, why take a step back with the 360? Oh, yea, that way the cost could be shaved even further allowing it to launch at the low price point.

    Course I could point out the cost of the HD-DVD peripheral, wireless controllers, wireless networking and hard disc, which of course has to be a MS one, and not simply a generic 2.5-inch SATA laptop drive. Yep, that $100 saving on the base console sure looks like a good investment, especially as you have to throw in that $50 XBL subscription to play online. Now, who has the mosre expensive system?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    moles

    I think Microsoft employs people to post positive comments in places like this. That must be quite a nice job.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    @Anonymous Coward

    I'm still on my 1st PS3 and Wii, and been through 3 Xbox 360's (one friend has been through 5 so far).

    In the end M$ will lose because of one reason, they shipped a shoddy piece of hardware to market early to try and catch the early next gen console train. My PS3 is far quieter, better spec'd and more reliable.

    I actually did some interesting research on the consumer cost in the UK of PS3 Vs XB 360, and to upgrade an XB 360 to the same spec as the PS3 costs more.... False economy there.

    Just wait until the new Gran Turismo is released, as with the PS2 you'll suddenly see a major burst in sales for the PS3...

  13. Andy Worth

    What a surprise....

    I am frankly shocked to find that another story about consoles has degraded into another fanboi debate. I'd never have expected that!

    Re:@ Be advised - outright false

    Well, the "arcade" is aimed at the low-end of the console market, in fact more to compete with Nintendo than Sony given that they are undercutting the Wii in price.

    As for the number of games, well if you want to quote numbers, there's more online and single player games for PC than all three consoles lumpred together (if you count older ones as well) and also more PC's in the world than all three consoles put together. I'm not a PC fanboi (used to be maybe 5 years ago) but am just pointing out that shouting about vague numbers (without actually giving any factual ones) is pointless willy waving.

    And no....don't anyone start comparing PC's and consoles.......

    As for size, it's also a false comparison as the "arcade" does not have the same amount of components as a fully featured 360 or PS3.

    Overall though, it's a good addition to the range for those who JUST want a gaming console/DVD player without the need for media facilities/storage (realistically you'd need a wireless card or wired NAS box to play any media as you can't store it locally - unless your PC is next to your console, in which case it's pointless anyway).

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You've got to love the fanboys

    AC>"The PS3 falls down in all these areas more so than the 360 - it's noisier, bigger and actually has a higher failure rate than the new Falcon chipset based 360s yet it's doing okay in Japan (albeit not as well as the Wii) so I'm not sure why you're churning out this FUD."

    That is the funniest thing I've read, ever!! Genius.

    Ian>"The important point is that the 360 is in a clear second place and has no chance of losing that any time soon with the PS3 being so far behind however it's never of course going to catch up the Wii now either. We're far enough on in the game to tell the outcome of this console war, all hope is gone for the 360 in Japan, but similarly all hope is gone for the PS3 internationally."

    Interesting. Especially when you consider the PS3 is already 1m ahead of where the 360 was after 65 weeks, EA predicts the PS3 to significantly outsell the 360 worldwide in 2008, especially in Europe (Europe? Remember us? We are a two and a half times bigger market than the "centre of the universe" USA), blu-ray has won the HD format war, and all the major system sellers on PS3 (Gran Turismo, Metal Gear, Final Fantasy...) are due this year. Seems strange that "all hope is gone for the PS3 internationally"...

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