News agencies across the globe are reporting muted excitement for the launch of Microsoft's Xbox360 console in Japan.

The BBC reported: “Microsoft has launched its Xbox 360 games console in Japan to what seems like a more subdued response than it received in Europe and North America”.

“One senior store official said the customer reaction had been somewhat 'subdued', with fewer than 50 consoles sold in the first two hours”.

Reuters added to the subbed report by quoting Microsoft's Xbox marketing chief Peter Moore:

“Moore would not say how many units were released in Japan, adding it was too early in the day to tell whether stores would sell out. Meanwhile, supplies in the United States and Europe disappeared quickly and remain in short supply.

"A spokeswoman for Japanese electronics retailer Bic Camera said it expects to have remaining stock at its main store”.

The first internet-based news publication in Africa, The Mail & Guardian Online's Toyko's correspondent, Miwa Suzuki reported buyers of the first consoles at launch night.

"It's not going to be a big hit in Japan", said Kentaro Okamoto (26), one of the first Xbox360 buyers. "I buy every new game console ... but normally Japanese customers only buy a machine when it's made by Sony or Nintendo".

Gaming site Kotaku based in Japan reported:

“If you didn't get an Xbox 360 or paid some ridculous amount on Ebay, just know that there are oodles and oodles of unopened 360s here in Osaka. How's that for a shortage?”

Japan's games market is traditionally dominated by Sony and Nintendo.

Sales of the first Microsoft Xbox petered out around 500,000 in Japan.
The Xbox360 costs 39,795 yen ($331; £188).