XBOX Japan Launch Details

XBOX Japan Launch Details

by January 14, 2002

From Core Magazine:

The event began with a speech by Microsoft’s Japanese vice-president Hirohisa Oura. Therein, he revealed that the Xbox will retail for 34,800 yen ($264) when it hits Japanese shelves on February 22nd. According to Oura-san, Microsoft is confident in the pricing of the console in comparison to their market competitors. Twelve software titles will be available at launch, with twenty-two available by the end of March 2002.

More intriguing however, Oura-san confirmed plans for a ‘limited edition’ Xbox unit. Scheduled for release at launch, the system will ship in a clear casing and will include a limited edition keychain. Only 50,000 units of the ‘limited edition’ Xbox will be available at launch and will cost 39,800 yen ($302) each. According to Oura-san, the idea to release a limited edition system came from Microsoft chairman Bill Gates. Specifically, Mr. Gates wanted to express his sincere dedication to the Japanese player by offering them something special.

The entire briefing lasted approximately seventy minutes, and concluded with speeches from Microsoft’s Xbox marketing and software development directors. Afterwards, Oura-san took questions from the audience. Therein, he confirmed that three 15 second Xbox commercials are already running on Japanese television. A thirty-second ad is scheduled to begin airing within the next few days. When asked about possible software bundles with the system, Oura-san said there were no plans to offer the Xbox with pack-in games. Regarding the 34,800 yen ($264) price point, Oura-san said Microsoft believes the pricing is very attractive to the consumer considering its hard-drive and Ethernet capabilities.