Today’s issue of Weekly Famitsu included an interview with Xbox division head Phil Spencer about the upcoming next-gen release and the Japanese market.
According to Spencer, Japanese is considered by Microsoft a very important market in the gaming industry. There are great Japanese game developers and many enthusiastic gamers in the country.
Spencer admits that the delay of the Xbox One’s launch in Japan (in September 2014, nearly a year after the west) gave a negative impression. That’s why Microsoft decided to launch Xbox Series X and S in Japan on November 10, wanting to prevent the same situation from happening and out of respect for Japan.
Asked about the shortages in available pre-orders, Spencer mentions that it’s humbling for him to see the Xbox Series X and Series S accepted by the Japanese fans.
Given the goals Microsoft is looking at for the new consoles, this is still the first step in a long way to go. The fact that many people have pre-ordered them is encouraging.
Microsoft plans to ship as many units as possible at launch, and that is considered the top priority. However, it’s inevitable that demand will be higher than supply at launch and afterward.
In the future, Spencer would like to be able to meet demand within a few months from launch. Especially in Japan, Microsoft is planning according to a long-term perspective.
Speaking of the two consoles, Spencer mentions that historically price has always been an important factor in reaching a wide target of people. Xbox Series S is being released because it allows players to enjoy the next-generation at a relatively low cost. The Xbox Series X brings more power to the gaming experience. They’re like two wheel of the same vehicles.
Spencer hopes that together they will appeal to a wide range of users, offering both accessibility and power.
At launch, Spencer expects gamers to focus more on Series X. As time goes by, the pricing aspects will probably receive more attention and the number of users who find Series S attractive will increase.
Xbox Series X is likely more attractive to people who already have a gaming machine like Nintendo Switch, PS4, or PC. For those who are already gaming enthusiasts, Microsoft is confident that Xbox Series X is an extremely attractive hardware. Xbox Series S is likely more attractive for casual gamers.
Lastly, asked about PS5, Spencer mentioned that he’s confident that Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are the most powerful and the most accessible next-gen consoles in the world. On top of that, the big advantage is Xbox Game Pass. Being able to offer a wide variety of games with a subscription is a “great differentiating factor.” Players can play Xbox games not only on Xbox Series X, but also on PC and smartphones. In other words, they can enjoy games in whatever environment suits their lifestyle. With that in mind, Spencer believes Xbox Series X and S have an advantage in terms of content, hardware, services, and so on.
The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S will release on November 10.
Recently, we read that the two consoles will be the only ones in the next-generation to fully support all the RDNA 2 capabilities revealed by AMD.
We also heard from Microsoft’s executives about their predictions for the launch of the new consoles.