I really wonder what impact this will have. Christmas is still a big buying season in Japan, true, but Microsoft couldn't get a lot of units ready for that market by then anyway. Maybe half a million tops.
Not to mention that they want more Japanese-market focused games ready.
The biggest shopping season for this kind of stuff in Japan is right before the Japense Spring Break, which is early March (it's why the PS2 was rushed to market early March of '99 with hardly any software, all of it crap).
So the question is, is it better for MS to fight it out against PS2 and Gamecube in Japan this Xmas, even with a limited supply of units, or to have Spring Break all to themselves (sort of...you know what I mean) and have more for the US market?
I think it's definitely a blow to Xbox, but it could be serious or it could be no big deal, in the long term. I wonder...
There's supposed to be a big press conference about the Japanese launch on Monday, I guess Reuters got the info early (or it's happening in Japan, where it's already tomorrow). They're supposedly going to show more Japanese developer support, too.
It just keeps getting more and more interesting...
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Monday, August 27, 2001 - 02:53 am:
Serves me right for not checking some other console sites before I post.
Yeah, the conference is in Japan, and game info is leaking out.
Namco support: Soul Calibur 2, Ridge Racer, Dead to Rights, and something else. Atlus and From Software too...
SegaGT2 shown (it was announced at last year's TGS):
It's quite early yet, or rather late Sunday night, so I'm sure there will be lots of "exclusive" crap tomorrow on the console sites.
By Dave Long on Monday, August 27, 2001 - 09:38 am:
I read somewhere that these games are going to all the platforms. Gamecube, PS2, Xbox...they're simply covering their bases and likely scared shitless that Sega is now developing for all the systems.
Soul Calibur 2, Ridge Racer, Dead to Rights
I agree with Dave--MS needs to focus on the markets where they've got a decent chance of succeeding. Japan may be a huge market, but I don't think MS will be any better off by pushing the Xbox for a release this year. I'd make a huge push in Europe and the US this fall and then just slam Japan with all the marketing materials I've got as soon as I have enough units to back it up.
By Anonymous on Monday, August 27, 2001 - 05:37 pm:
When did everyone suddenly become a marketing and sales expert? Everyone parrots the same lines over and over again; if anyone knew exactly what to do to launch a successful console, everyone would do it.
By Jason McCullough on Monday, August 27, 2001 - 07:37 pm:
'When did everyone suddenly become a marketing and sales expert? Everyone parrots the same lines over and over again; if anyone knew exactly what to do to launch a successful console, everyone would do it.'
This is also why we're all not allowed to criticize football play-calling, game design, or political decisions. Sheesh, none of the above are scientific disciplines any more than what you get from a "marketing degree" is, so credentialistism won't get you very far.
By Jason_cross (Jason_cross) on Monday, August 27, 2001 - 09:23 pm:
> I read somewhere that these games are going to all the platforms.
Soul Calibur 2 is (at least, it has been formally announced for Gamecube and Xbox, and the arcade version is on the board that's basically a PS2 with more RAM, so...). I don't really care, so long as it's as polished as the original. Soul Calibur is one of those games where you say "okay, they can stop making fighting games now. They're DONE."
Ridge Racer has not yet been announced for other platforms, but they also didn't go out of their way to say it was exclusive. Which usually means it's not.
Dead to Rights is confusing. Apparently their marketing material says it's exclusive on Xbox or something, but they showed it on PS2 at E3. So maybe they switched platforms, or maybe it's a special VERSION of Dead to Rights. Either way, that game looks pretty cool. It's like Max Payne, only with better storytelling. In fact, it SO MUCH like Max Payne (at least at first glance) you have to wonder if the console ports of MP will do well if this comes out first.
>if anyone knew exactly what to do to launch a successful console, everyone would do it.
We can't POSSIBLY fuck it up more than the "marketing and sales experts" have in the past. =)
Seriously though, I think we're all just wondering out loud. Since we can't actually affect anything, we're playing armchair quarterback.
>I'd make a huge push in Europe and the US this fall
Europe will be in March, they announced that long ago. It's actually a shorter delay before the European release than is typical for consoles, but a delay nonetheless. Europe is tough - you need to re-engineer for PAL (both your hardware and games) and you often need to localize in English (PAL), German, Italian, and French. It's all about having enough units for launch in each area, which I'm starting to wonder about myself. I mean, they can only make like 125,000 a week, I think. US allocation through the end of the year is going to account for 10 weeks of production. Count it down for at least 50k a week after that, and that doesn't leave a whole lot for the Europe and Japan launches.
That is, unless they start the production cranking Real Soon Now.