You know how Japanese games have ‘O’ and ‘X’ swapped on PlayStation? For those not already aware, in Japan ‘O’ is the universal symbol of “correct” or “affirmative” whereas ‘X’ is the opposite, conveying a sense of “wrong” or “negative.” Coming from America you can imagine how shocked I was upon seeing a bunch of red circles on my homework in my first year studying in Japan. Anyway, it’s funny to see how fitting it is that Xbox doesn’t do well in such a place, even though I’m not the first to point that out.
The X alone is not a real factor however. They aren’t afraid of it like the Chinese are afraid of ghosts. Otherwise, Xenoblade Chronicles X wouldn’t have sold. It’s also not because Microsoft is a non-Japanese company; they have no issue buying foreign technology with the iPhone dominating the mobile market. Finally, it’s not due to Xbox games being released on PC or anything having to do with PC, since PC gaming is such a small niche in the Japanese gaming world.
So with only three major consoles to choose from, and the above reasons having minimal to no effect, the reason the Xbox brand has abysmal sales in Japan (over 10 times less units moved in its debut than PS4 and Wii U) is confirmed by Phil Spencer: games.