“Far below expectations” says Takashi Izumi, an executive at Microsoft Japan, when asked about the sales of the Kinect. Initial projections are still way off in the horizon and it is being generally dismissed by Japanese gamers.
While many may not be surprised, especially after it was announced that many Japanese developers were pulling out support for the Xbox 360, this does little to help the 360’s chances in the console wars that Sony is arguably winning.
Izumi says the lack of Kinect sales in Japan may be due to the fact that most 360 gamers in Japan are hardcore gamers, looking for a deeper gaming core than the fare that the Kinect has been able to give them. Due to this, the slew of casual games might be alienating the small hardcore fanbase that Microsoft has in Japan, much in the same way that Nintendo tried to please its fanbase after alienating them to win over the fickle casual games market.
Counter-intuitively, Izumi also believes that sales will rise once more Dance and Sport games are released in Japan.