One of the main reasons why Bill spoke at the Tokyo Games Show, was that Microsoft desperately need to convince Japanese gamers that the Xbox, from an American manufacturer, will actually be something that the Japanese gamers want - they've never taken to American developed systems before, so this will be a real challenge.. something that will see Microsoft either sell them by the truck load, or just get laughed at.
The big announcement wasn't anything near as "big" as many gamers had expected, so if the rumours in the days and weeks before were expected, then gamers would have been very dissapointed - It wasn't Microsoft buying out Sega.. It wasn't the Xbox being compatible with Dreamcast games.. and it wasn't that Xbox had exclusive rights to a huge number of great new games..
All of this could be seen as a bit of a dissapointment - if Microsoft had of announced "We've bought Sega, and there's 11 exclusive Sega titles coming to the Xbox" then it'd probably have found that it'd just won it's place in many doubting gamers hearts.
Instead the announcement was really more hype and sales pitch, and big exciting entusiastic messages from Bill and some of the key staff working on the Xbox project.
The Sega news can be seen as being great for Sega fans.. it means that there's a console which is getting good support from Sega, and some amazing new games are heading towards the system.. obviously this will please anyone who wants to play new Panzer Dragoon, or Jet Set Radio titles, but if you're not a die-hard Sega fan, then the whole thing might just seem like "just another developer showing their support"..
Other than the announcement that Sega were to develop 11 titles for the Xbox (from what we can tell, they will be available first on the Xbox, with other formats getting titles later, so they aren't exclusive to Xbox) there was no big thing that could really make gamers get really excited about Xbox - yes it looks nice, yes it sounds like it's going to be great - yes the online broadband play sounds fun, especially with Microsoft's pledge to make it a more social thing, but there just wasn't that biggy that could really book Bill's place in the Japanese marketplace.. worrying, really.
It's still to be seen how the Xbox will fair in Japan - personally I think the keynote speech was very impressive, and the Sega partnership is the real crunch winner of the whole thing - before I wasn't too sure about getting an Xbox at it's European launch, now I want one.. but ONLY if the broadband always connected gaming service makes it to Europe, and it's got to be a true worldwide gaming service.. only if it's everything that Bill said it'd be in his speech.. if so, then the Xbox will be great and Microsoft will amaze all with their success in Japan, if not, then it could sadly just flop, with pie on Bill's face.
related article: Read what Bill said in his keynote speech to the Tokyo Games Show