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 Oct 06, 2004 - 11:00 AM - by Michael
* The Incredible Shrinking Xbox

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Xbox/Xbox Games
Word on Xbox Advanced is that the next Xbox will be smaller, to appeal to the Japanese audience.
In the interview, Moore said that Microsoft understands why its console had won only a tiny sliver of market share in Japan even as the company's US market share rose to 33 percent as of June. One reason, Moore said, was that the large size of the console was unappealing to Japanese consumers. So Microsoft plans to make the so-called Xbox Next considerably smaller, with a more simplistic design. "We won't repeat the same mistake," Moore said. "The video game business doesn't end in one generation."
They're also going to try to ramp up the Japan-centric video game lineup somewhat:
Moore also plans to have a software lineup for the system that will be more attractive to Japanese tastes. The Xbox's current Japanese lineup is dominated by Western-developed titles, and while it has been bolstered by many ports of Japanese arcade games in recent months, the console is still sorely lacking in the one genre that sells best in Japan--role-playing games. The Xbox-exclusive MMORPG True Fantasy Live Online was expected to spike system sales in Japan, but the game's development was abruptly cancelled in June. Although Moore didn't provide any details on what kind of titles Microsoft is planning to release in Japan for the Xbox Next, if he is serious, then RPGs will be included in the lineup.
Finally, they're planning to beat the PS3 to market, rather than face a similar situation to competing with the two-years-entrenched PS2 on the original Xbox's launch. Speaking as an American, I didn't really mind the size of the Xbox. It wasn't any bigger than my VCR, so there's very little room (pun intended) for me to complain about it.

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