The Xbox 360’s successor may well be just around the corner, but Microsoft has a serious problem on its hands in Japan. According to sales figures published by Japan’s Dengeki Online, even last week’s top-selling Xbox 360 game, Gears of War: Judgement, only managed to sell a paltry 347 copies in total. In a country where sales for Nintendo’s handheld 3DS reached almost 60,000 units in the exact same period, it’s clear that Microsoft’s console is struggling to keep its head above water.

It may come as a surprise to many of our Western readers, but apart from brief periods of growth around the launch of the new, slimmer model and titles like The Idolmaster, Blue Dragon and arcade flight game Ace Combat 6, the 360 has always struggled to find a place in Japanese gamers’ hearts. For many, the bulk of software available for 360 is simply “too western”, with many Japanese favourites appearing on Sony’s PlayStation 3 instead.

It was only when last week’s sales figures came in, however, that we realised just how dire the situation had become for Microsoft’s console.

Despite receiving generally positive reviews, cover-based third-person shooter Gears of War: Judgement (released in Japan at the end of March this year) sold an estimated 347 copies between April 8-14. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge — released even more recently — followed with 307 units sold, while beautiful first-person survival shooter Far Cry 3 managed just 120 copies.

360 software sales

To put these figures into perspective, despite 24,865 copies of Gears of War: Judgement finding their way into chainsaw-loving, Locust-crushing Japanese Xbox-owners’ hands since the game’s launch, Nintendo saw 35,076 sales of cutesy 3DS title Animal Crossing in the second week of April alone. Even Nintendo’s Wii U, which despite initial fervor and hype has been performing well below original expectations, managed to trounce Microsoft’s console’s best sellers, with last year’s New Super Mario Bros. U shifting nearly eight times as many units as the 360’s top-selling title.

3DS software sales

wii u software sales

Sony’s aging PlayStation 3, meanwhile, continued to see strong software sales with One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2, Pro Baseball Spirits 2013 and the high-definition release of Square-Enix’s Kingdom Hearts: Remix performing especially well with sales figures in the thousands.

PS3 software sales

As keen gamers and never being ones to snub a platform for the sake of appearing trendy, it pains us to see Microsoft’s console performing so poorly these days. We at RocketNews24 sincerely hope that Bill Gates and pals have something extremely special up their sleeve for their next generation console.

Source: Dengeki Online (Japanese)