Japanese appetite for Xbox 360 on the wane

Though Xbox 360 continues to perform astonishingly well for its age in the West, its fortunes in Japan are looking increasingly grim.

Edge reports that sales of the console are down 46.7 per cent year-to-date in Japan at 72,271 units. By contrast, PS3 has this year sold 735,637 units in 2011, down 17.1 per cent.

Apparently the slump is so severe that several retailers have either significantly scaled back their Xbox support or even removed the platform from shelves altogether.

Much of the country’s current stocks have been discounted.

The struggles come despite Microsoft’s commitment to the territory. In June the company appointed Takashi Sensui to head its Interactive Entertainment Business in the country.

And it still enjoys the exclusive support of popular Japanese developers such as Cave.

But it seems that no matter what MS does the Japanese public simply have no appetite for the platform. In a further blow, one of the console’s biggest exclusives to date in the country, Namco Bandai’s The Idolmaster, is to be ported to PS3.

Anecdotal evidence also suggests that in stark contrast to Kinect’s success in the West, the device has lagged far behind rival PlayStation Move and has sold mainly to existing Xbox 360 customers.

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