When Microsoft APAC (Asia-Pacific) announced last month that key markets in the region won't get Xbox One until late-2014, it excluded Japan from the list, raising hopes of the country getting the next-gen console roughly the same time as North America and EMEA. Microsoft broke some bad news on the subject.
In an interview with 4Gamer, Microsoft's vice president for marketing in Japan, Yasuyuki Higuchi, revealed that his company considers the country "second tier," and that it would get the console only in 2014. This means that Microsoft is gambling heavily on Christmas shopping season sales in relevant markets from North America, Europe, and probably Oceania.
The $499 price tag makes the Xbox One prohibitively expensive compared to the $399 PlayStation 4, which stole Microsoft's thunder at E3. In addition to asking retailers in North America and Europe to take as many pre-orders as possible, its console will launch in several APAC markets this year. Japan is definitely on that list. The only way we see Microsoft can buy its way out of the "pricing-problem" is by teaming up with ISPs, content-providers, rattling its own Xbox Live subscription system, to sell the console subsidized, at a lower cost.