Xbox Series X|S consoles just beat an Xbox One sales record in Japan

Laurent Giret

Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X video game consoles.

Xbox Series X|S consoles have crossed 100K units sold in Japan in less than a year, according to a report from the Japanese website Famitsu. While that number seems very low, it actually took 4 years for Xbox One sales to reach the same milestone in Japan, a market that’s always been very difficult for the Xbox brand.

Compared to the Xbox 360/PS3 console generation, the Xbox One/PS4 generation was a big setback for Microsoft, with Sony’s PS4 outselling Microsoft’s console by a 2-to-1 factor across the world. Microsoft stopped reporting Xbox sales many years ago, but Ampere Analysis estimated Xbox One sales at 51 million in Q2 2020, far behind Sony’s 111 million PS4 install base.

For reference, Sony’s PlayStation 5 recently crossed the 1 million units sold milestone in Japan and did so faster than the PS4 did, despite the ongoing chip shortages. However, the Nintendo Switch remains the most popular console in the country, even though that hardware is starting to really show its age.

The fact that Xbox Series X|S consoles are enjoying some momentum in Japan is an encouraging sign, especially after Xbox head Phil Spencer and other Xbox execs made it clear that they wanted Xbox to get a bigger presence in Japan. That work is still ongoing, but Microsoft has brought several popular Japanese video games franchises on Xbox Game Pass including the Final Fantasy and Yakuza series, and the company has also recently made Xbox Cloud Gaming available in Japan.