Japanese Consumers Really Don’t Like Kinect

Kinect, like it or not, has been a roaring success for Microsoft. They’re regularly found quoting sales figures and uptake rates, there is a long list of mostly casual-focussed software available for the device and it will doubtless lead their holiday charge this year too. But it seems that not everyone loves the clever little sensor.

In the spiritual home of videogames, Japan, sales figures for Kinect are extremely underwhelming. Latest figures, from Famitsu (translated by Andriasang), show that the device has sold just 114,000 units to date. Some months, Kinect failed to break the 2,000 units sales figure.


The top selling game, aside from the bundled Kinect Adventures, was Forza 4. Obviously the Kinect elements of that title are not the reason why it is being sold. Next on the list was DanceEvolution, which would presumably have sold reasonably well if it had been bundled with a dance mat peripheral rather than a motion sensing one. It’s in fourth place that we finally see a game which is a true Kinect title – Kinect Sports – and that sold just 13,000 copies.

Here’s the software chart:

  1. Kinect Adventure! 114,000
  2. Forza Motorsport 4: 24,900
  3. DanceEvolution: 22,400
  4. Kinect Sports: 13,000
  5. You Shape Fitness Evolved: 12,300
  6. Dance Central: 8,690
  7. Kinect Animals: 5,350
  8. New Brain Training 4,930
  9. Sonic Free Riders: 4,160
  10. Fighters Uncaged: 3,470
Source: Andriasang


  1. The Japanese really haven’t embraced Xbox, so Kinect is hardly going to prosper, interesting seeing Kinect Adventure sales as that gives an insight into install-base, wish we could see something similar for PSMove.

    • This. It’s hardly surprising, right?

      An add-on that only some people will be into for a console very few people buy in the region = low sales. Good to get the figures tho.

      The big question has to be: will MS even BOTHER launching the 720 in Japan? I’m serious. I’m a big fan of my 360 and this is not trolling in anyway. Surely they have to look at that market and make a judgement call that it’s just not worth the expense.

      • With regard to the 720/NeXtbox (or whatever the hell they are going to call it), i suppose it will depend on how far ahead of the competition they are – If they manage the same sort of lead that the 360 had on the PS3, they may find a small devoted fanbase.

        But if they are releasing at the same time as the PS4 (or whatever they are likely to call it), you may very well be right in saying that it may not be worth their while.

      • I would be VERY surprised if Sony didn’t launch the PS4 alongside the Xbox720. They’ve already come out and said it would be “very unfortunate” or whatever.

        If both next-next-gen consoles launch at the same time, would MS really bother putting the effort into a Japanese launch? Effort that could be better spent in the US and EU where they have a much better chance at making a profit?

        I guess we’ll find out.

  2. It’s hard enough trying to convince them to buy an actual Xbox 360, so this comes as no surprise. Just check this link: http://www.vgchartz.com/charts/weekly.php?reg=Japan&date=40867

    The *original* DS is still comfortably shifting more units than the 360 over there. It’s a market that Microsoft really struggle in.

    • But it’s also interesting when you compare worldwide sales between Sony and Microsoft in general because Microsoft is fighting head to head with Sony even without the support of Japanese consumers.

      • The only territory where Xbox 360 is outselling the PS3 is North America. In Europe the Ps3 is dominant and Nintendo and Sony share the spoils from Japan.

      • That’s why I said worldwide sales (as in combined worldwide sales). According to Wiki MS sold 57.6 million 360s while Sony sold 56 million PS3s as of November 4th. That’s pretty head to head if you ask me.

      • It’s great for Sony, seeing as they launched a year later. Its seems their strategy is paying off, there are still ps2 owners waiting to upgrade and that is really helping. I predict that by the time PS4 is released PS3 will be in second place at least. Microsoft will jump first to “next gen”.

      • Yeah it’s very interesting to see the trends and numbers considering 360 had the head-start on PS3 this generation around. It’s no surprise that Sony said it would be “undesirable” to be the last console to launch in the next-gen based on these figures.

        As for the Japanese market, I think the consumers over there point-blank refuse to pay for things like Xbox-live as a service on-top of purchasing games, just through principle. They do not take kindly to ongoing subscriptions. I’m convinced Microsoft would have had a good market in Japan if their Live Gold service was free. But that will presumably never be the case, so I can’t see it changing over there.

        I also agree that Microsoft should reconsider whether or not to actually launch 720 in Japan at all for the above reasons, but ultimately I think they will.

    • The reason Xbox Live isn’t popular in Japan is because the Japanese Internet providers don’t work the way they work here. I believe you pay per MB or something along those lines instead of paying a monthly/yearly charge for unlimited internet usage. (That’s what we have in Holland at least)

  3. Forza 4 and kinect makes you look like a twat! Demo stands at Top Gear Live had it set up, standing with your arms outstretched turning an imaginary wheel just looked pointless. The que for normal controller based booths was always higher than the the kinect one.

    • Lol

    • I’m not really too surprised by that to be honest – I know which queue i would be in.

      The one that doesn’t make you look like a tw*t trying to drive an invisible car.

    • the thing i don’t like about kinect for racing games is you have no control over the accelerator or brakes.

      • I thought you could “move forward and back” to accelerate?

        I’m not saying it’s “good” control, but I thought it was at least there! ;)

        As you can tell, I don’t have Kinect.

    • I don’t think it will be ‘looking like a tw*t’ that’s putting off the Japanese, they did invent karaoke.

  4. Not surprised, Kinect is rubbish.

    • That might be your view and I respect it. Sony did look in to this technology but they ultimaily rejected it for one reason or another.

      What most people would say is it works. The issues are mostly that you do need some empity space to play also it rather tiring over time. Accuracy and precision will get better with future releases of new updated kentic hardware.

      All in all I do profer Move but think it would be nice if you could combined Move and kentic in to one.

      • Not sure what you mean by combining Kinect & Move?

        The only point i can think of would be the full body tracking, but actually having some buttons to press instead of making silly gestures. But if that is the case, then why not just use a pad instead of move?

        Not trying to pick holes in your point, just trying to understand how move would come into it if kinect-like tech is tracking your body anyway.

      • when I played Kinect it was slow and not very enjoyable. I liked Move when I first bought it, but that also got boring because not many decent games came out for it. I just think the old joypad is the best way for interaction still.

      • Kenitic has few issue with will not go away. One of them compaired to Move is accuracy and lag. Now Kenitic can be improve this by working at higher sampling + resolution. But this will ultimately create more intense data processing power demands just because the incress of the amounts of extra data. You get lot of information from Move with a lot less data.

        Now this is just my view and do not have any real data to back it up, it just my interpretation of whats going on behind the scene’s.
        What would be good expermant if you could hold and active move device in you hand at same time kinect both sytems are watching you at same time. You wave your hands around, just to see how long is the delay realy is and also accuracy is.

  5. kinect is the Heisenberg uncertainty principal of the gaming world.

    you can either perform an action or move your character, but not both at the same time.

    anyway, anything that attaches to an xbox is going to sell poorly in japan.
    still, those are not good figures.

    • +1 for the science reference! Especially because it actually makes sense in this case. :)

  6. The only software I’ve found remotely interesting for the Kinect have been Child of Eden and the next Steel Batallion game. 2 games is not enough motivation for me to rush out to buy the hardware. I would imagine many consumers have arrived at this conclusion regardless of country of origin.

    • Child of Eden is brlint game on XBox and PS3. I do not know if being fanboy or what but I do profer the PS3 version over XBox mainly because of Move.

  7. + The Xbox brand is big in the UK but i hardly hear anyone talk about Kinect. Its just COD this & COD that…lol

    • To be fair COD is dwindling in numbers, so it’s only right that people discuss it to raise awareness.

  8. I’d slightly dispute the “they’re regularly found quoting sales figures ect”. As far as I recall the timeline of MS and Kinect sales figures releasese went something like:
    *fast forward a handful of months*
    Kinect sales, WOOoooo
    *fast forward a handful of months*
    Kinect sales? Why would you want to know about them?

    Dunno if it’s just me but since around 3-4 months after launch MS have been progressively less and less bullish about how great Kinect is doing (via sales figures as opposed to marketing guff).

    Meh, can’t stand any of this motion business anyway. Kinect? Move? you can keep em.

  9. I do not have an Xbox and i dont ever plan on getting one.

    however im actually tempted to purchase a kinect for my computer.

    not because of its compatible games but rather the technology under the hood and the fun i could have with that.

    MS mistake was advertising kinect as a gaming device because clearly that is not where kinect-esque interest lies.
    kinect is a powerful piece of tech, just not for games.

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