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Xbox Series X will aim to fix this very big Xbox One problem

The Xbox Series X, along with the PlayStation 5, will help push console gaming into a more technologically impressive future. But the guts inside these machines aren't everything — the games matter, too.

Microsoft has taken care to grow its stable of first-party studios these past few years, and it's possible the phrase "PlayStation has more exclusives" is something we won't ever hear again. That's all fine and dandy. But the PlayStation 4 still has one significant advantage over the Xbox One at the moment; one huge draw that Microsoft's current console currently can't match. There's no reason to suspect the PS5 won't have that same advantage over the Series X if Microsoft doesn't act.

We're talking about Japanese support. PlayStation has it. Xbox lacks it in a big way. It's a problem Xbox head Phil Spencer wants to tackle head on, and as most fans will probably tell you, this change in philosophy is long overdue.

Xbox Series X will make a play for the Japanese market

The Xbox brand, despite trying once with the Xbox 360, has never really gained a foothold inside Japan. It's a Western creation playing in the backyard of two Japanese giants — Nintendo and Sony. Not one Xbox has enjoyed PlayStation-level popularity and support in Japan, and most have just come to accept that as a fact of life. Unfortunately, it's a fact of life that also disincentivizes Japanese developers from putting their games on the platform.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer doesn't want that to continue with the Xbox Series X.

"I don't know that we're winning in Japan any time soon, but the position that we have in Japan today from a platform isn't acceptable to me," Spencer said in an interview with Gamertag Radio.

The plan, according to Spencer, is to focus much harder on Japan with the Xbox Series X launch. The Xbox One didn't come to Japan until months after it had launched in the West, which hurt its chances significantly. That reportedly won't happen with the Series X. On top of that, Xbox Game Pass will play a bigger role in selling Japanese consumers on the value of the console. Those two things combined will hopefully result in more Japanese developers supporting the platform, which in turn could mean more Japanese titles for Western audiences, as well.

"I think the Japanese market is specifically important because of the creative community there, because of the gamer community there, and I want us, I want Xbox, to mean more there than it does today," Spencer said.

Xbox Series X is set to launch later this year. We'll find out then if Xbox has a shot in Japan, or if we're in for more of the same.