Posted by: kurtsh | September 27, 2005

NEWS: Itagaki-san on XBox360 in Japan

Tomonobu Itagaki, the creator of XBox’s #1 hand-to-hand combat fighter, "Dead of Alive" and famed Japanese game maker, reviewed that he believed that the XBox 360 will triumph over what he calls the "complicated" Playstation 3.
For the record, we did a LOT of stuff to fix our situation in Japan.  Yes, we failed pretty badly in Japan, but then again, we didn’t understand the market well.  The 360 is practically designed with the Japanese market in mind.  For example:
  • XBOX LOGO:  Did you know we changed the logo for the Japanese?  The old "X" logo was changed to a globe with a diminished "x" in it.  Why?  It turns out that in Japan, the symbol "X" is the equivalent of "not" or "negative"… in other words, "bad".  This is akin to Chevrolet naming a car "Nova" and trying to sell it in Mexico.  The "O" in Japan is considered a positive symbol – this is one of the reasons the primary button on the Playstation 2 is the "O".
  • XBOX SIZE:   Yeah, yeah… we know, we know.  The damned box is too big.  They were basically more interested in making a cheaper, reliably manufactured box in the first rev than they were a "thin sleek" box.  It was commented by Itagaki-san earlier that he believed that Microsoft would have cleaned up their image drastically had they invested in slimming down the XBox in Japan much like they did with the Controller-S.  The Japanese HATE big bulky heavy objects, not just because of their fascination with miniatureization, but more importantly because Japanese homes are VERY SMALL, NARROW, and EXTREMELY CRAMPED. 

    Folks – I’m not talking about a 250 sqft Studio apt mind you… think SMALLER.  If you’ve never lived in Japan, you can’t possibly understand – but let me try to illustrate:  Imagine needing to crawl over your dining table to get to the exit from your kitchen.  Imagine climbing a ladder to get to the second floor, and there are rarely steps.  Imagine your dining room being your living room, your family room, your study, and your guest bedroom all in one.  Now imagine a dining table in the middle of the room that occupies 3/4s of the space of the room – no joke.  Now imagine there not being enough room for a bathroom so the commode is located outside.

    For effect, imagine this:  When I walk around Tokyo, I, Kurt Shintaku, am one of the taller, bigger individuals in the crowds and I can see over people.  Get the picture?

  • XBOX GAMES:  We just didn’t have the right games for the Japanese market.  We signed up a few very powerful creators like Tecmo with Itagaki-san and Namco… but there just weren’t enough Japanese titles.  We FIXED this situation for XBox 360 and signed EVERY MAJOR JAPANESE DEVELOPER.  Every Japanese developer with credentials will be producing an Xbox 360 title.  For the record, not even Sony or Nintendo have done this.

I’ll leave Itagaki-san’s final comments to close this entry:

"I think Xbox 360 is the best game console on the earth. It’s better than PlayStation 3. PS3 has too complicated architecture."


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