Not sure what this will mean to the practically dead Japan XBOX business.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp MSFT.O said on Friday the head of its Xbox video-game business in Japan would step down and move to the U.S. headquarters, adding uncertainty over the fate of its already weak Japanese game operations.
Hirohisa Ohura, Microsoft Japan's managing director in charge of Xbox operations, will join a team led by Microsoft's chief Xbox officer, Robbie Bach, to work on corporate planning, Microsoft Japan said. The move will be effective January 1.
"There have been some gaps between the U.S. headquarters and the Japan side in understanding about the Japanese market, but we will have a pipeline to link both sides," a spokeswoman said.
Ohura's successor has not been appointed and would be sought from all over, including outside of the company and abroad, she said. In Japan, the world's second-largest video-game market, demand for Microsoft's Xbox console has badly lagged Sony Corp's 6758.T PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Co Ltd's 7974.OS GameCube.
Analysts say the failure of Xbox reflects a lack of software geared toward the taste of Japanese consumers, such as role-playing games.
By the end of September, Microsoft had sold just 278,860 Xbox consoles since its Japanese launch on February 22.
Meanwhile, 1.59 million GameCubes have been sold since they debuted on September 14, 2001, according to Enterbrain Inc, publisher of a popular Japanese game magazine.
Market leader Sony has sold 10.25 million PlayStation 2 consoles in Japan since it debuted in 2000.