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Kinect Produces Low Sales Figures in Japan

by Joey Davidson | November 29, 2011November 29, 2011 6:30 pm PST

A report out of Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu concerning the Kinect has hit the gaming blog network in a big way over the last day or so. The issue features month by month sales figures for Microsoft’s controller-less peripheral in the nation of Japan. The numbers are low, and the spin on the story coming from most outlets is that the Kinect is bombing in Japan.

My stance: not really.

Before we get to that, here’s the breakdown of Kinect sales in Japan, month by month, from Famitsu Magazine as provided by Andriasang:

  • November 2010: 27,800
  • December 2010: 43,200
  • January 2011: 14,800
  • February 2011: 5,040
  • March 2011: 3,160
  • April 2011: 2,100
  • May 2011: 1,910
  • June 2011: 3,470
  • July 2011: 2,980
  • August 2011: 2,460
  • September 2011: 1,900
  • October 2011: 3,333
  • November 2011: 1,980

With all of those points in mind, it seems to me that the Kinect is performing about as well as we should expect in Japan. The numbers may seem low for the peripheral, what with some figures checking in around the upper 1,000s per month, but it’s not like the installation base for the Xbox 360 is large enough in Japan to accomodate massive sales.

The Xbox 360 typically sells anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 units per week in Japan, making it the contemporary console with the worst sales performance. However, when a console sells 5,000 a month and a peripheral sells 2,000, I’d say that’s a pretty solid ratio for the manufacturer. That’s roughly what Microsoft is experiencing today with the Xbox 360 and the Kinect

What’s the point? I’d argue that it’s not that the Kinect is failing in Japan, it’s that Microsoft‘s gaming products are underperforming in general.

The one point of failure for the Kinect in Japan stems from the fact that it’s not attracting new users in droves like it is in the rest of the world. Here in the States, for instance, consumers are buying the Xbox 360 specifically for the Kinect. In Japan, not so much.

[via Andriasang]

Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...