High score: Xbox One to hit China

Updated: 2014-04-30 14:23

By Eric Jou (chinadaily.com.cn)

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High score: Xbox One to hit China

An XBox One is seen on display at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in the Porter Ranch section of Los Angeles Nov 26, 2013. [Photo / Agencies]

Microsoft's Xbox One will reach Chinese homes later this year, Microsoft announced on Wednesday.

The company said the home console will be released domestically in Chinese mainland this September, citing the formation of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone as opening the Chinese market its new product.

Video game consoles, entertainment machines that focus on video games, in Chinese mainland have had a tumultuous history. They were originally heavily restricted, but new regulations and trade zones have opened the doors.

The Xbox's foray in to Chinese mainland comes in the form of a partnership with domestic IPTV box manufacturer BesTV. Shanghai-based BesTV is known for producing IPTV, boxes that hook up traditional televisions to receive signals over the Internet.

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"Today marks a monumental day for Xbox, as together with our partner BesTV New Media Co, we announced we will bring Xbox One to China in September of this year," said Yusuf Mehdi, chief marketing and strategy officer for Xbox, in a press release.

"This is a historic moment in our partnership as we work toward the first official Xbox launch in China. Xbox One will also be the first system of its kind to launch in China."

Last year, Microsoft founded the joint-venture with BesTV. The two companies put together a total investment of up to $237 million to develop "family games and related services." BesTV is a subsidiary of the Shanghai Media Group.

Video game consoles such as the Xbox, PlayStation and Wii have long been available for purchase in Chinese mainland via less-than-legal channels. There is a healthy and growing video game industry within the mainland. Last year, video games alone generated $13 billion, and that's without the input from industry leaders such as Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft.

Zhang Xia, host of a popular gaming podcast in Beijing, said that the release of an Xbox in the mainland is a good thing.

"Using a set-top box to enter the Chinese market is great idea, it fits well with what Chinese consumers are looking for in their living rooms," said Zhang.

"This allows lots of people to experience first hand what gaming on a big screen is like, and it has the possibilities of raising and accumulating gamers in China."

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