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Microsoft launches Xbox One in China


Microsoft has become the first major console maker to enter the Chinese market after launching Xbox One.

The first consoles were sold in Shanghai, priced at 4,299 yuan ($699). Sony and Nintendo are yet to launch their respective products.

In January, the Chinese government lifted a 14-year ban on consoles, made because of worries over content.

However, many popular titles, such as Call of Duty, will still be banned.

Only 10 games were available to buy on the Xbox One’s release – but Microsoft has said 70 titles are in the pipeline.

Beating its rivals to the market may give Microsoft a much-needed sales boost. Its console is currently being outsold by Sony’s PlayStation 4 in all major markets.

Microsoft has become the first major console maker to enter the Chinese market after launching Xbox One

Microsoft has become the first major console maker to enter the Chinese market after launching Xbox One (photo Reuters)

Sony has set up business partnerships to launch the PS4 in China, but a date has not yet been set.

Both companies will compete with a thriving black market in illegally imported consoles playing pirated versions of games.

They will also come up against mobile games, which are not banned in China and are extremely popular.

The Xbox One launch was originally set to happen last week but was delayed – Microsoft did not give a reason why.

The company is currently the focus of an anti-monopoly investigation relating to its Office software.

Its chief executive Satya Nadella visited China last week, and pledged to help the government with its investigation.

Getting games to market is likely to require negotiation with regulators, who favor educational games over those with violent themes.

But that could play well for Microsoft thanks to its recent acquisition of Minecraft – a block-building online game that is massively popular in the Western world, particularly with young children.

Microsoft bought Minecraft’s Swedish developer Mojang earlier this month for $2.5 billion.

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