Xbox One sees China launch September 2014

Xbox One new

It’s official. China’s getting the Xbox One from September care of a Microsoft and BesTV partnership. As Xbox says, this is an historical moment and the Xbox One will become one of the first consoles to be legally sold in China as the country lifts its 14-year ban on all console sales. China makes up 20% of the world’s population, making it a stellar market for Xbox One to break in to.

In 2000, China banned all gaming consoles citing that young people’s mental health would be damaged.

‘They love gaming’

China is gaming’s untapped market and has missed out on the PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360, Gamecube, Wii, Wii U, and handheld systems such as the PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS.

The country allowed sales of Sony’s PS2 from 2003 till 2005 but the console was pulled from sales by China’s Ministry of Culture with just under ten games released for the system. As the world’s unofficial hub of game piracy, the Xbox One becomes the first console to be sold legally in China since Sony’s PS2.

So what’s been picking up the slack? It’s the computer gaming market which dominates in China, with US$13-billion profit generated from mobile, online and PC sales combined in 2013, says Xbox. But with just over 5-million Xbox One sales globally, Microsoft needs this extra push to dominate its rival console the PS4.

Sony’s console has just pipped the 7-million sale barrier but may see the Xbox One dominate come September, when Microsoft’s machine becomes available in 42 countries.

Steven Norris: grumpy curmudgeon


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