XBox 360 Woes: Live Update and Japan (MSFT)

| About: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)

By Carl Howe

This is one of those results that proves rushing a patch to market is never good marketing. Russell Beattie notes that in an attempt to make more old XBox games compatible with XBox 360, The XBox 360's latest live update killed backwards compatibility entirely -- and worried him that it had fried the entire system. Word has it that Microsoft is working on a fix for the fix (and it may be on the system now), but yikes! Given the shortages of XBox 360s in consumer hands, this feels like a patch that could have waited until after the holidays. After all, it's not like there was any lack of demand for XBox 360s because they couldn't run Ghost Recon. And if Microsoft wants to win over the Japanese consumer, this type of marketing and support is not going to get it done.

Speaking of which... if you want an XBox 360, Japan is the place to go. The BBC reports that response to the Japanese launch on Saturday was subdued; one store noted that only 50 consoles were sold in the first two hours of availability. There's no big surprise here -- I think everyone knows that it's tough going launching a product on your competitor's home turf. But hey! Maybe someone in Tokyo will send one to Steve Ballmer; we hear he is looking to buy one and hasn't been been able to sign up for the employee purchase plan.