Microsoft Announces Plan for Japan

Microsoft's keynote speech was one of the most anticipated events at this spring's Tokyo Game Show, and it did not disappoint. In order to succeed, Microsoft must gather the support of Japanese developers. They have apparently succeeded, for they announced the support of over seventy Japanese game developers, including a strategic alliance with Sega. Another strategic alliance with NTT Communications was formed in order to bring broadband online gaming to Japan. This always-on technology would allow Xbox gamers to connect to players across the world virtually instantly to play favorite games, including games hosted on the server that would be able to modify themselves beyond what is originally on the game disc.

In addition, Microsoft has formed a new division in their in Japanese brance which will manage all the company relationships, marketing, sales, research, and support locally rather than overseas. Xbox's commitment to Japan was also revealed in their announcement of aa separate Xbox controller for the Japanese market, which will be slightly smaller and will feature button placement optimal for the genres that Japanese gamers enjoy most. In addition to the usual features, the cord for the controller will be a massive nine and a half feet long. In order to sell in the Japanese market, Microsoft must gather loyalty in the area. Their recent announcements look to do just that.

by Justin Weiss    
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