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Gamers in the West have been barking orders at and toppling Titans on their Xbox One consoles for the best part of a year now, but today marks the first time Japanese consumers can purchase Microsoft’s newest console without importing.

Industry pundits have long speculated that Xbox One may struggle to gain a foothold in Japan due to the comparatively poor sales of its predecessors and Nintendo and Sony’s hold on the territory. We’d like to believe that this new generation of hardware might help shake things up a little, but if the distinct lack of people waiting in line outside Akihabara’s stores early this morning is any indication, the sceptics could well be right.

While there are no doubt plenty of people who preordered the console and are awaiting deliveries at this very moment, the scene outside numerous electronics stores in Akihabara this morning did not bode well for Microsoft.

Showing areas cordoned off for Xbox One buyers to line up in, photos uploaded to Twitter at around 8 a.m. today were all noticeably lacking one ingredient vital for any product launch: customers.

▼ “If.. if you hurry you can still make it in time!” <quavering voice>

▼ “How the Xbox One line looks at around 8 a.m.”

▼ “Shinjuku[‘s Yodobashi Camera] looks just like any other day.”

▼ “It’s Xbox One launch day, but there isn’t a single person waiting outside SofMap”

Mercifully, a few people were spotted outside a handful of stores much later in the day, so it’s not all doom and gloom for Xbox One!

As another Twitter user was quick to point out, however, even though it could hardly be described as performing well right now, Sony’s PlayStation 4 was at least met a mite more enthusiastically when it finally appeared on Japanese store shelves.

Are these scenes just another sign of the declining console industry in Japan, or was Xbox One always destined to receive such an underwhelming reception? Hash it out in the comments!

Source: Hachima Kikou