With every passing day in Japan I see more eviden that Microsoft might have got it right this time around. There is a fair amount of hype, Microsoft seems more committed to the Japanese market (example: the Xbox Lounge) and they are employing the clever tactic of making as much of a fanfare about the improved Xbox 360 version of Final Fantasy XI as possible, which will drag in a good chunk of hardcore gamers like wide-eyed primates to the monolith.
As part of their global marketing alliance, Adidas and Xbox have announced a special Adidas-themed Xbox 360 booth for the Japanese market, which will be placed in Adidas stores across the country. The booths will allow visitors to the Adidas shop to play the FIFA 06: Road to World Cup game at their leisure. A clever move, since football (or "soccer", to those of you who believe football is a game played with helmets and hands*) in Japan has a huge following. Plus, official endorsement like this add legitimacy to my oft-repeated personal mantra: playing video games is an excellent substitute for prolonged, cardiovascular exercise.
*this also describes an entirely different, 1 player game.