Microsoft’s near-simountaneous worldwide launch of the Xbox 360, which included North America and Europe, finally culminated with the release of the system in Japan.
The eastern nation’s support is considered crucial to the success of Microsoft and the Xbox line of systems in the video game realm. While the system has done amazingly well without major Japanese support in Western nations, the support of Japan for the original Xbox was dismal in Asian nations, including Japan, whose consumers weren’t accepting of the American outsider and it’s Western-style console, which was considered much to big and clunky for the Japanese living space, and whose game library lacked Japanese-style games, especially RPG’s, a genre that’s been vital, around the world, to the success of Sony’s systems .
Now Microsoft is doing everything in it’s power to dramatically improve the situation with the 360, and so far initial impressions of the Japanese launch seem to be suprisingly better than expected, or at least that’s how early reports so far have seemed to point.
Microsoft held a 360 pre-launch party for hardcore Xbox supporters at the Xbox 360 Lounge, a nice, plush, brand-spanking new building built solely to give Japanese gamers a chance to check out the 360 early and showcase upcoming Microsoft events. The pre-launch party was only for the hardest of hardcore fans, who’s attendees were made up of invite-only Xbox Live subscribers who had been lucky enough to score a ticket to get in. It started on Friday and ran up until the actual launch of the 360 Saturday morning. By 9pm more than 80 people had already gathered outside the Xbox 360 Lounge to get in. The crowd grew as the hour neared, and it seemed that most of the 120 lucky winners were lined up before the doors opened.