Darren Huston, president of Microsoft’s Xbox unit in Japan, has appeared to rule out any price cuts for the Xbox 360 in the near future, saying that "Xbox prices in Japan are very competitive.”
Asked in a Reuters report
whether Microsoft Japan would respond to the $100 price cut of the PlayStation 3 in the U.S. (the ramifications of which have not yet been made clear by Sony in Japan) Huston indicated that there were no plans for a price cut “at this time”.
While suggesting that that recent issue of high hardware failure rates would not affect the console’s desirability in Japan, Huston did admit that, “We will be watching market conditions. Price cuts are one option.”
Microsoft has already announced plans to launch the Xbox 360 Elite
version of the console in Japan, currently only available in North America, on October 11th, with the Premium Xbox 360 selling for ¥29,800 ($240) and the Elite for ¥47,800 ($390). The Core version of the console, without a hard drive, is not sold in Japan but the other versions are considerably cheaper than elsewhere in the world.
Despite the already low prices the Xbox 360 has proven no more popular in Japan than its predecessor, with data from Famitsu publisher Enterbrain
showing just 122,565 console sold in the first six months of 2007 in Japan, compared to 503,554 for the PlayStation 3 and 1.78 million for the Wii.