Several rumors have been surfacing across different corners of the internet that Japanese publisher SEGA will partner with Microsoft to market, brand and sell the Xbox Series X in Japan under the familiar and loved SEGA banner.
Rumors of this larger partnership have existed since last month when many sites and sources picked on a possible June 14th announcement between the two companies. This announcement was believed to be pertaining to Microsoft’s acquisition of SEGA, but these reports were never officially commented on.
Microsoft’s console gaming woes in Japan have been felt for decades now spanning three console generations of flops in the particularly gaming savvy nation. Strong partnerships with SEGA helped bolster Microsoft’s efforts in the past, with a lot of their more hardcore titles pivoting to the original Xbox post Dreamcast’s discontinuation.
Well, the latest "Sega rumour" that's going to rile up the gaming industry is, yes, Sega ARE releasing a console…
But, it's the Xbox Series X in Japan, MS are rebranding it under Sega's name to gain a better foothold there.
So, the Sega Series X.
— Larry Bundy Jr (@LarryBundyJr) May 30, 2020
A potentially brilliant move then, as the Xbox brand has little of a fanbase to speak of in Japan and SEGA is still a much beloved company producing hits like the Yakuza series and the recently localized Phantasy Star Online 2. SEGA could of course rectify many of the issues Japanese consumers and developers have with the console. Platinum Games director Hideki Kamiya was recently put on record saying that the Xbox feels too “foreign and far away”.
While Kamiya-san was critical of the bad localization of the Xbox platform, SEGA would be able to provide Japanese gamers with a friendly feature set and localization of Microsoft’s upcoming console. And with programs like backwards compatibly being highlights of the Xbox platform, maybe something wild such as SEGA Saturn and SEGA Dreamcast compatibility are in the works to entice the hardcore Japanese audience.
For more on the potential SEGA Series X and everything SEGA and Series X, TiCGamesNetwork has you covered.