After 13 year console ban Xbox One set for official launch in China
Games console to finally arrive in world's most populous country
Microsoft has confirmed that its Xbox One games console will be officially launching in China.
The company said that it will be formally releasing its console in September in what Microsoft is touting as a "first of its kind" console release for the Chinese market.
The launch will be co-sponsored by BesTV New Media, who already partners with Microsoft on the E-Home Entertainment venture in Shangai's Free Trade Zone.
China only recently opened its doors to the console market. Earlier this year authorities finally agreed to lift a 13 year ban which had blocked console sales over fears of inappropriate content.
Like Microsoft, Sony has long been rumoured to be planning a China launch for its rival Playstation 4 console, though the company has yet to give any official word on an announcement.
"On behalf of the entire Xbox team, we are incredibly excited to bring Xbox One and the next generation of games, entertainment, online education and fitness to China," wrote Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft corporate vice president for devices and studios.
"Launching Xbox One in China is a significant milestone for us and for the industry, and it’s a step forward in our vision to deliver the best games and entertainment experiences to more fans around the world."
When the Xbox One does arrive in China, Microsoft could find itself in a very different environment to what the company has seen in other markets worldwide. Over the course of the console ban, a gaming culture in China has arisen around PC games, particularly MMORPG titles which console vendors have only begun to wade into.
Additionally, China has seen a 'grey market' flourish over the years as vendors have been able to get their hands on consoles and Chinese manufacturers have offered their own gaming devices as well.
Still, with a huge untapped audience in the midst of economic boom, Microsoft has ample reason to be optimistic about its chances of success in bringing the Xbox One into China's domestic market. ®