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Microsoft Executive Emphasizes Company’s Commitment to Japanese Market

;">It’s no secret that we encountered some challenges when we launched in Japan,” Microsoft’s Peter Moore says about the company’s first foray into console territory. As Microsoft’s corporate vice president for worldwide marketing and publishing, Moore has been charged with leading the company’s Xbox division in Japan. In short, he’s spearheading the charge to make Microsoft’s new Xbox 360 a success in Japan.

“We’ve learned a lot of lessons from our work in Japan, and we now have solid information to apply as we roll out Xbox 360,” Moore says. He says perhaps the greatest lesson learned was that Microsoft needed more games created by and for the Japanese audience. “We’ve made great headway here,” Moore says, “with Japanese talent like [Dream Factory’s Hironobu] Sakaguchi, [Q Entertainment’s Tetsuya] Mizuguchi, and [Game Republic’s Yoshiki] Okamoto pledging support to create epic games for Xbox 360.” All three game creators have agreed to create exclusive content for the new Xbox, Moore notes.

Sakaguchi’s two projects, code-named Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey, are currently veiled in secrecy, but Moore promises “they will be epic fantasy adventures that will make full use of the technology of the Xbox 360 console.” In addition, Moore says, famed manga artist Akira Toriyama from the popular Dragon Ball series has been tapped to create both characters and monsters for Blue Dragon.

Also central to Moore’s plan is a new aesthetic for Xbox 360—one he hopes will better appeal to Japanese sensibilities. He says: “Most people realize that Japanese society is different from what we know in Western countries. The physical spaces where people live in Japan are much smaller. This dynamic manifests itself in the aesthetics that Japanese people generally find pleasing and/or useful. Although the design of the Xbox 360 was orchestrated from Redmond, WA, this was an international effort [that involved] two world-class design firms—one called Hers in Osaka, Japan, and another called Astro in San Francisco. Through this collaboration, we successfully fused Eastern and Western aesthetics in a way that was not only stylistically appealing, but also functional for gamers themselves.”

By Greg Orlando

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