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Microsoft expected to launch the Xbox One in China this September

Xbox One

A handful of months ago we learned that Microsoft was preparing to enter the Xbox One into the Chinese market by September 2014. Consoles have been banned in China since the early 2000s, but that ban was lifted last September by the Chinese government. It looks like the Xbox One might be the first console to hit China when it’s expected to go on sale later this year.  

Sources at Re/code state that Microsoft is expected to make the Xbox One console available in China in September. An announcement was due as early as this evening. A video briefly appeared on the official Xbox YouTube channel before quickly being pulled down.

We recently learned that Microsoft has sold over 5 million Xbox One consoles since launch, while Sony’s PlayStation 4 has moved over 7 million units. Could availability in locations like China and Japan help improve the numbers for Microsoft a bit? We’ll find out come September.

Would any of our Chinese readers be interested in an Xbox One come September? We'll let you know when Microsoft does officially announce the availability of the Xbox One in China. 

Source: Re/code

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Reader comments

Microsoft expected to launch the Xbox One in China this September

80 Comments

China may help the numbers (assuming Sony doesn't beat Microsoft to it) but Japan not at all. Japan is a Sony empire, there's no challenging Sony there. Not even Samsung can do it. The Japanese market is very nationalistic in that aspect (and rightly so).

Well it's not easy to say. There will definitely be several things to take into account:

1 - the Chinese traditional quarrel with the Japanese and how much are the younger generations influenced by that. How will Sony and Nintendo, eventually, tackle that;

2 - What sort of approach will Microsoft take regarding marketing of the console since, again, there's also the not-so-awesome relationship between Chinese and Americans (and again, how much is that still reflected on the younger generations)

3 - Crucial: the price point of the consoles. The Chinese market is traditionally not very prone to high prices, apart from those select regions that aren't REALLY China (Macau, Hong Kong etc). They are used to the culture of cheap stuff that they produce or that gets the prices leveraged by the government. The PS4 holds the upper hand here unless Microsoft does something about the price. And there's little point in going into the things that the Xbox One has that the PS4 doesn't since what will reach the Chinese market will most certainly not be the same as what's available in America. Even if all the voice controls end up there, all the media streaming and consumption will likely be severely neutered, specially since the Chinese government has started to tackle things on the internet too. Most media content on the Xbox will likely be subject to censorship.

With all that in place, the Xbox One will most likely be competing against the PS4 and Nintendo on the gaming merits alone. So Microsoft might need to actually adjust the price to meet the Chinese market at least half-way through.

If they decide to keep the high prices, they might end up only reaching the richest part of the Chinese consumer market which, although it would still bring in a couple of millions, would be far far inferior to the profits that could be made by taking the consoles to a more middle-ground consumer base.

Chinese quarrel with Americans politically but they love our products. Their bias against the Japanese is traditional and long standing. The Japanese killed a lot of Chinese in the World War II. Chinese casualties accounted for half the Pacific war totals. They weren't kind about it either. The Japanese did to them what Germany did to Jews. Concentration camps, medical experiments, starved millions, etc... Extremely brutal.

MS should convince the Chinese government to start a mass media campaign that buying Xbox is glorious because it will hurt the Japanese "running dogs". There will much celebration.  

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It's been my experience that the iPhone sells well everywhere... Except perhaps in Latin America. People see it as the cream of the crop and the resale value in Europe and Asia is very high. It's mind-boggling.

@Nicolas It's not. iPhone sells only well in the US and Japan. In Europe Android is so far ahead in sales that iPhone is not even really competing. And Windows Phone mostly challenging and sometimes winning over iPhone.

What sucks though is that China puts a LOT of restrictions on gaming. This goes for the Xbox One, PS4, and Wii U (this generation I'm talking about).

What's worse, there isn't any rating system in China like PEGI and ESRB yet.

And few people in China know what a console is.

This is where a strong marketing of MS needs to take place. Setting up tons of kiosk and commercials. I'm sure the culture is totally different and marketing may be a little difficult. But if excited correctly I'm sure they can make a hit

Well Toyota is using Microsoft technologies.

Its not the whole Microsoft not hitting in Japan, its just they prefer their console; made in Home-country.

Microsoft should work on it from different angle; collaboration, promotions, low prices (oh well) and other deals. One word: "incentive". For instance, if you are Ford, Plymouth, Mercury or Dodge and you are trying to increase your sales in Japan or Germany, who produce abundance of direct competition. That's why people hire MBAs, sales engineers and marketing staff.

They tried with the 360, it didn't work. Nintendo and Sony have been and always will be dominant in Japan.

The only thing Japan loves more then Sony I michael Jackson. I think if Microsoft did some commercials with MJ's music, that might get there ears and eyes interested.

It would be very interesting to see China become an Xbox stronghold down the road, much the way the US and UK were strongholds for the 360. If the market is big enough it could really change the complexion of the console war. But that's a lot of supposition...

This might mean the rumor of an Xbox One without an optical disc drive holds more credence. If I was selling a console in China I wouldn't want it to use a medium that can easily be pirated like Blu-rays. It also makes it easier for the Chinese government to control the content that is available for the device.

Will we get Chinese versions of games that aren't region locked like back in the day. I remember several people I know having Chinese games that weren't released in the US

Imagine the next sales report.

Sony has sold 10 million consoles since launch.

MS has sold 500 million since launch...ing in China a day ago.

Apart from Wii U, and PS Vita, they are succeeding. Even if demand for XBone skyrocketed, it would face the same issue PS4 is facing now, limited availability.

I am from china. it's really hard to say if Chinese prefer ps4 or xbox one, since american and janpanese culture both have great influence in china, I would say it really depends on marketing. if xbox could be the first console to get to Chinese market with good marketing, it would be a hit. otherwise it's hard to say. 

Chinese customers love values when it comes to shopping.  I can foresee now that Xbox One will become a super hit if it is marketed as a family entertainment system rather than just a game machine as PS4.  Kinect will be a huge draw for the Chinese customers assuming the Chinese voice commands are done right.  There are so many new riches generated over the years that they are dying to find cool thing to spend on.  They love goods with good branding.  I won't be surprised to see that XB1 would become a must have for most of the middle and upper class family rooms.  Hopefully, MS is ready to meet the volume demand.  I had to wait a month to get mine in the last holiday season.

"Chinese" voice commands cannot be done right by the very nature of Mandarin. It will work in Taiwan where it is the native language, but for china where people speak their own country's language as native language followed by Mandarin as a second language, pronunciation is all over the place (country = the hundreds of countries that china has conquered).

As to why the Xbox One has not been released in countries like Hong Kong yet, I have no idea. English speaking country with lots of money, a specific local language, and a ton of foreigners.

Xbox One will be released in Taiwan in September also.  The voice commands will be done in Mandarin which will work both in Taiwan and Mainland China.  Local dialects will not be supported.  Xbox One will be available in Hong Kong also if you speak Mandarin.

As a Chinese I could say it wont matter how the price Microsoft set. The young people in china probably eagerly to buy one as soon as the release has been announced in their local store . Many on them already found unofficial ways to get their hands on the old ver of xbox. eg:hongkong market. You can never underestimate the enthusiasm of a Chinese game player. Also there is free market area around shanghai city, another way to get connect to the rest of the world. They could even hope for the facebook "unwalling". Don't know if u guys could understand that weird word.

That is why they have a big chinese partner. It the same thing with azure and office 365.

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Just read the news, the suggested retail price is 4999, a lot higher than US/CA price $499->3133. A lot of people will not be happy, since you could get one from Taobao for around 3200 brought in from overseas. Game disc price will also be a problem, $60->around 300, no one spends 300+ to buy a game.

They banned all consoles in the early 2000s.  This isn't just an Xbox thing.  Probably banned on grounds of no oversight, capitalism, or some other ulimately inane reason. 

There's nothing specifically against Xbox. The Big Brother saw that video games (mostly pirated) were everywhere, and decided it's a mental dope to Chinese kids, and simply banned everything.

Ban gaming consoles yet allow poor animals to be slaughtered for bs medicinal crap like the bear bile... Did hear that some of these atrocities have been criminalized this week though. Hopeful that china can change some of its ways whilst holding their proud traditions.

Maybe this will help Microsoft's terrible numbers. You know something is wrong when they are giving shipped numbers while Sony is offering sold numbers.

Good move by Microsoft, still Sony PS4 is on lead, I feel like this could boost Microsoft Xbox sales with the large population and see here goo.gl/xSsa7a