Microsoft launches Xbox One in China but faces struggle to get major games approved

Microsoft has now launched the Xbox One in China, as it becomes the first Western game console to be sold legally in that country in 14 years.

While the Chinese government may have lifted the ban on game consoles sales, Bloomberg reports that the country will have to approve every Xbox One game for sale. Indeed, just 10 games are available for the Xbox One's Chinese launch, and most of them don't have a lot of violent content. Microsoft says it is working to bring 70 more games to the Xbox One Chinese audience, including titles in the Halo and Killer Instinct franchise that definitely have violent visuals.

xbox one china

WPDang reports that Microsoft is selling a limited edition "China Day One" version of the Xbox One that includes the Kinect sensor along with several free games, including Kinect Sports Rivals, Forza Motorsport 5, Powerstar Golf and Neverwinter Online. Do you think Microsoft will be successful with the Xbox One in China?

Source: Bloomberg, WPDang

John Callaham
  • Why is the Chinese Government so strict? They seem to control everything.
  • Communist state.
  • I thought communism was about letting people do whatever the hell they want.
  • No, that's kind of the opposite of communisim.
  • I'll never understand communism.
  • Communism is that the government controls everything and makes people equally (un)happy. Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • I'll help you. Communism = shiet
  • Communism is composed of four syllables.
  • Communism in theory doesn't mean that the government controls everything. It's just that in reality most communist states became like that. I'd say it's rather a result of the walling off during the cold war between western states and communist states.
  • Well if you have a communist state, you have one party politics. In (western world) democracies there is a place for communism. There are communist party's or offsprings of those in every major european democracy. Its the beauty of democracy that every voice gets heard. Every one is equal and you have the right to speak your mind and to disagree. In communist nations like the (now gone) Soviet Union, the people's republic of China, the republic of Cuba or of the (this one makes me laugh my pants of) Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea's 'official' name) there is no place for any voice besides the communistic voice. Everywere where one person, a family and/or one party has absolute control that is were dictatorships are born and peoples rights violated. Its like they say: "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely". If one thing, the communist world has proven that, this last century.  
  • You don't really understand communism, China stopped bring communist a long time ago
  • blackprince: The fact that China is not purely Marxist doesn't mean that it's not typical communist. In every country that has had a communist government, it's been or rapidly became a totalitarian regime that prohibits independent voice, thought, and political dissent. That's pretty good evidence that communism is not a valid form of government, or it wouldn't need to do those things. Yes, China allows business to grow and prosper, provided the government believes it is for the good of the government. So I suppose you could say that China has a hybrid communist (the party in power self-describes itself as communist) and fascist government. But even under classic and ideal Marxism, the only way for such a government to survive would be by force. People naturally work for rewards and a better life. Communism assumes people work for the sole purpose of either desire to work or to help strangers ("from each according to his ability to each according to his need"). Any system that so blatantly misunderstands what motivates mankind cannot survive. It will ultimately go fully extinct as a failed offshoot of the legitimate anger at working conditions during the industrial revolution, deleted from existence by simple social Darwinism. Perhaps what's happening in Honk Kong right now is signaling the beginning of that end (though I suspect not yet).
  • As Communism is supposed to work, a dictator (Mao) is supposed to come in and establish the communist order then government is supposed to work as a single party democracy working toward a utopian ideal. Since those in power hate giving up power and human greed is a powerful force, China stopped being a Communist state and it's now some sort of fascist state capitalist government as you point out. Communism was never about restricting personal freedoms, it was about ensuring equality for all regardless of position in life. In a true Communist state everyone would be paid the same wage, have all the same luxuries and access to ask the same services. But this can never work because humans. Utopian ideologies are all flawed because they all underestimate the power of human greed and the want to be better than the person next to you. This is why see every Communist fail because they can never transition past the authoritarian stage and deliver on the ultimate dream of Communism. Power corrupts absolutely.
  • Beautifully analyzed. Very moving...
  • blackprince: it sounds like we agree after all. :-) I love your line "But this can never work because humans." Well said. One thing I might view differently: I don't think that "human greed" is necessarily a bad thing (though maybe better to call it our "unquenchable desire for more" than greed). That's what makes us work hard to buy the high end Windows Phone and other stuff we want and provide a better life for our kids, and it's that hard work and innovations to make it easier that in turn does generate the wealth that also pays for people who are incapable of working. In other words, Capitalism with either a good voluntary charity culture or a little bit of socialism to take care of those who are truly incapable of working does a better job providing to those in need than any government-forced system ever can, simply because of the vastly greater wealth created by those operating under freedom.
  • I think the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Enterprise allowed but with regulation to protect life, property and environment. Socialism but not to the degree where people don't want to be enterprising and controls in place to force people off the tit. Democracy that respects all the voices of a population not just simple majority, ranked voting is the best system for that. Liberty to allow people individuality as long as you don't incite hate or harm to others. There would always be those who want to pull it to the the extremes but the electorate has to be intelligent enough to recognize that and punish them at the ballot box. Some countries handle this balance fairly well it most don't as we know. Countries work well when there are more than one or two major parties controlling the message. It allows for a greater diversity and understanding of problems.
  • Communism is not for human but for a machine civilization.
  • Communism is an a philosophy. For nor no societal existence renders all creatures equal. Communism was the philosophy used initially to reform the government after WW II. But we are far departed from that stage, with a ruling class clamoring for all control which reinforces the oligarchy's power over China's citizens.
  • Xbox One is released in the same day as the anniversary of 上海自贸区.
  • OMG...
  • Your actually right, it is suppose to be.
  • @gautam26 that's capitalism
  • Silly wabbit...
  • Communism is about some people not getting what they deserve and others getting what they don't.
  • The easiest way to explain communism is as follows: It's central government based with them giving you everything equally. So in theory you get a house a job a car and food but so does your neighbors and everything is the same. So if your car is red so is everyone's car in your neighborhood. Kind of like book the hunger games or the giver.
  • Not sure if serious...
  • I am serious, how are the Chinese people okay with all this? Shouldn't they be standing up for themselves and their rights?
  • They invent the guns, first to get guns taken away. (over simplification of everything)... Just like all history.
  • They are asking the same with a lot of things a round you !!
  • Well - tell which country supports the people standing for themselves and their rights? I couldnt name one
  • Basically the reason why the government is coming down so hard on those kinds of things is to not give the people ideas of how everything could be different. The internet in china is heavily censored in order to keep people content with the way things are. That's why the majority of people are simply okay with it due to not caring much for the topic. The minority that is actively engaged with that kind of issues is being oppresed and not given any exposure in their media.
  • Do you read the news? Heard of Tiananmen?
  • I'm actually glad. Maybe this will encourage something other than shooter games. Yawn.
  • I'm with you!
  • There are plenty of non-shooter games.
  • They were okay with gaming until it became ridiculous and kids played themselves to death or tried out fatal stunts. Parents were stirred and angry. Simple as that.
  • So, they're blaming the games for their kids' stupidity. Way to go!
  • @gautam26: Do you remember the famous kid who shoot about 14 other kid in his school because he was mad about GTA ?!!!
  • What? I've never heard about that incident. I'll go check it out.
  • If I recall correctly, the issues you described happened in Korea (where it is actually illegal for someone under the age of 18 to play games online between midnight and 8AM) rather than China.  China's issue with the game consoles stemmed from the standard issue of having control over their population's online actions, which they felt they couldn't do when the new online-capable consoles started coming out 14 years ago.  PC gaming has remained fairly large there over the past decade even under the governments's watchful eye (generally F2P MMOs).
  • Because Chinese government is stupid.
  • I don't think so
  • Obviously Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Oh, really...? :-D
  • I don't see this as a bad thing. Western countries have a culture of killing, guns and street violence. In eastern countries, the culture is about respecting people and nature. Maybe this strict policing will spawn more games of non-violent types.
  • The culture of killing, guns and street violence existed long before the introduction of video games. I feel that this strict policing infringes on the rights of the citizens. Creation of non-violent games is up to the developers and I don't see how this strict policing would help bring about the change.
  • So you would agree that everyone is allowe to carry a gun all over the world because it is the right of every citizen to carry a gun. also every citizen should be allowed to not pay any taxes whatsoever. because it is the right of any citizen to do with his money what ever he wants to do
  • No, i'm not saying that everyone should be allowed to carry a gun. No country has listed 'carrying a gun' as a right of a citizen, i believe. Let me ask you this, are you okay with having your government restricting its people from buying something as innocuous as video games? Please don't tell me that video games are not harmless as they tend to cause violence among kids.  
  • Well to make it short I would say it is better if one had the means to protect themselves. Rather then a tyrannical government steamroller it's people. Those who would rather people not have guns are ones that went that wish they did went they really do need one. Communism works but only without corruption, in fact every government would work without corruption. Greed is the single aspect for the reason nothing works today. Posted via the Windows Phone Central App for Android
  • Only in usa do people advocate carrying guns. Visit other countries and see how people live peacefully and with respect to each other. People in Europe don't need guns neither do people in Asia. Some people in USA are blind to everything except their own lives.
  • powerd: As one WP fan to presumably another, that's a pretty insulting thing to say. I fully respect people not wanting or liking guns, but please understand the reason why in the US we do have a guaranteed right to carry guns. The US formed in revolution against King George of the UK. The Second Amendment to the Constitution (the first 10 being what we call our Bill of Rights and enacted at the same time as the Constitution itself) was written because the the authors who created our current government in 1789 (after ~10 years of a not-so-successful government) wanted to make sure that the government could never become more powerful than its citizens, and because they believed that every person had a right to defend himself without surrendering that power to a "protective" government (because in so surrendering, that gives the government feudal-like power). Much of this may not seem necessary today, in a world where most countries are run under Democratic governments, thanks to the US showing the way and citizens in country after country realizing that they too deserved a better life and demanding their governments also transform into democracies, but two hundred years ago, totalitarian governments where the only kind of government on the planet. And guns were one of the tools (along with free speech, freedom to assemble, freedom of religion, etc.) guaranteed to the US citizens to ensure the government never evolved into a new dictatorship. Yes, there are some negative consequences to freedom. It can be messy. But the alternative is letting someone else control you, and that is much, much worse.
  • really .. this is the reason you are allowed to carry guns.. because your government should be afraid of you and because you a democratizing the whole world with your superior democracy.  the constitution should have mentioned something about a brain somewhere is required
  • adrian1338: Why? Not to get too philosophical, but freedom doesn't require superior intelligence. It just requires a basic respect by most people for the laws that are needed to protect the freedom of others. There will always be a few criminals, but as long as they aren't so numerous as to lead to mob rule (anarchy), there is little need for laws that do anything but provide clarity in the case of civil disputes and prevent one person from hurting another (assault, murder, rape, theft, etc.). But yes, the government should never forget that it exists to serve its people, not to control them. The US was the first modern government to be created with that as its objective and limited by a Constitution to doing nothing more than that. Our government is specifically prohibited from passing any laws that are not within its stated purview (tenth amendment of the Bill of Rights).
  • That culture you're referring to isn't true the world over so you can't blame the government from attempting to prevent importing this into their culture.
  • Fair enough. But come on, they are just video games. What kind of harm can video games bring into their culture? They're a great way to pass time, have fun and enjoy. 
  • But to the Chinese Gov't, western video games DO bring harm the communist culture. An individual's hard work and gains from that work is the worst cultural taboo in a communist nation. Being powerful as an individual (being the hero in most video games) is wrong to a communist, because the group's need and power together is what a person strong, the bettermeant of your follow man is your only need. The individual is only a cog in the machine of humanity, and his/her life doesn't matter to the machine, you aren't suppose to care about a cog, you replace it if it breaks. Communism is a willing denial of the individual rights for the "betterment of mankind"
  • Tigers, rhino, dogs and sharks all strongly disagree!
    The Chinese are single-handedly decimating some of the most beautiful creatures on earth - and they are doing so under the cover of diplomatic immunity amongst other things!
  • I wonder if the families of the people massacred in Tiananmen square agree with you. And if the families of the people massacred in the cultural revolution agree with you. And if the families of the people murdered by the Chinese government for disagreeing with the Party agree with you.
    Damn the Western culture of violence where no one has been beheaded for over a century (even though God knows a lot of politicians in Brussels deserved it).
  • How do you explain the violence in Japanese media?
  • Guys ... The prob is China is not only the biggest land mass it also has over a billion people living on that mass.
    And the fun fact is : Democracy for over a billion people spread everywhere across the country and for the growing industry wont work . Never worked in china. They are kind of happy with communism. Sure there are lot of stupid decisions made by the government but it still works out. And somehow everything is controlled and working .
    True story
    Not talking about all the other shit - crime and corruption are no products of the government;)
  • Folks are clearly unhappy with the way the Chinese government operates. Perhaps we should boycott all Chinese made goods. Bye bye Xbox and PS4 bye bye iPhone, Lumia and Surface, bye bye most of my sprog's toys...
  • China does not have the largest land mass, Russia does....
  • Communism and dictatorships are not that easy to maintain. It's about oppressing people's thoughts withought them knowing it, which is a very hard thing to do for a long time. Even a little crack in a 'system' like this will break the whole thing apart...forever.
  • That's not true, as a Ordinary Chinese,I don't think here are not freedom.but some policy are strange and targeted some bad thing,but these things are referred to bad by those policy maker.but many policy maker are stupid……
  • The few dictatorship government
  • All these people saying there's nothing wrong in China must really not know about the massive Hong Kong protests going on now...
  • True, some of the Hong Kong people are protesting, but does it neccessarily means what they are protesting against is wrong?
  • That's actually something I hadn't thought much about, maybe if they're protesting, it shows that there's an issue alot of people think should be fixed..
  • Hope xbox sales goes ok in china, unlike in japan:)
  • Sony has the Japanese market. if xbox made it there that will be a great victory. Microsoft needs to make partnership with Japanese video games companies if it wants to go ok in Japanese market.
  • well - sony has the american market as well.. seems to not be the market than
  • japan has a not a focus oroduct approach but country focus approach.
  • Communists! Who cares...
  • you mean socialist?
  • God! How do these people live there in China?
  • They PC game. Its what we'd all do
  • Nintendo Wii
  • Given that it even states in the article that ALL console sales were banned for 14 years they'll definitely not be using a Wii either.
  • I lived in china for 7 years,you can get any console and any game in china,i bought ps2,psp and xbox 360 from there, those were smuggled from hong kong,and were sold openly.
  • WESTERN consoles.
  • They ok with PC games but not console?
  • Ehm you can get PC games everywhere and much more easy in china then a Xbox one bro. Btw: A game in china costs about 1,30 euros ( Crysis 3) . Idk how that works but that's a Chinese thing
  • So Chinese ok with all the violence afforded on PC but not console?
  • They(I mean gov) are not ok with them. Any PC game to be sold in China will have to go through a special approval too. Battlefield and COD for example were not allowed to be sold in China. However since PC is an open platform they can't really control what people install on PCs through other means. Neither can they ban PCs because PCs are not only for gaming.
  • I really what to know what the Chinese people thinks of the Xbox. I ask this because I don't know what is the gaming culture there
  • Neverwinter Nights on Xbox One? My interest is perked.
  • Piqued
  • If this was India, I would have committed suicide :p
    No game no life for me...
  • hahaha
  • Great. They get 4 games for free & what do we get. 2 games that also horrible ones like fifa & dance central ( in MY opinion).:-(
  • If I recall, the Chinese version is the only region-locked Xbox One, but what about for digital games? Can Xbox One owners in China switch their regions on the Xbox digital store and access the full slate of Xbox One games that way?
  • I'm sure China had them do something to the Xbox to control it. If China can block web searches, I'm sure they made it so the console can also be blocked.
  • I hope WP central keeps us updated. It will be interesting if they approve them or if Microsoft makes drastic changes to the violet content in game.
  • i guess it's not going to sell very good there. China is a PC gaming country.
  • It's a PC gaming country out of necessity - console sales were banned completely. It remains to be seen if there'd be people interested in gaming on a console (the PC gaming community in China largely isn't about cutting edge hardware simply due to pricing).
  • "Most of them have little violent content"... Violence is a government exclusive in China.
  • Well said!
  • This is why all Chinese kids are geniuses. All they do is schoolwork because they don't have gaming consoles to destroy their futures. So sad. :(
  • The actual reason is because in most (if not all areas) you are only allowed one child, so the parents do everything in their power to ensure the child does as well as possible.
  • Xbox One launch in China is a better beginning,game control not only in China,all Chinese palyer hope have a beautiful future。 and China is not yours imagine that。 then thanks ms,we waiting 14years
  • so what about that 5 million orders???
  • The Chinese govermnent has approved the sale of 5 million units. How many MS actually sells will probably be way under that.
  • Damn those little rascals are way too protective for many things!
  • If, culturally, violent games are looked down upon, why are people here so upset about it? Chances are the games wouldn't sell well anyways. Seems odd to press the issue if the games are unwanted.
  • This doesn't seem to be an issue of people not wanting to play those games (we simply don't know that) but rather that it's unwanted by government for such games to go on sale (and I'd guess that is due to a fear of those games promoting violent behavior (I don't believe that but it's common in political circles) and possibly also to how western values are portrayed in many of them (US has to save the world from terrorism, etc.)).
  • Agree... Even I am bored with America saves the day :p (no offence)
  • None taken. :-) I have no problem with the Chinese stance on violent video games as I have never been a fan of them myself. I won't say it makes kids go out and imitate them (though there are cases where kids have attempted things they do in-game) but I will say it can't possibly be healthy to desensitize people to extreme violence by putting them in the drivers seat via video games. At the end of the day though, it is their country and no one outside it has the right to dictate to them what they should or should not find offensive.
  • No offense taken. Believe me, we're sick of constantly saving the world's collective asses as well.
  • Lol :D
  • Kinda missed the opportunity to get a Day One Edition when it was recently released for my Country but not really content with purchasing just any of the standard ones available when I finally decided to make the purchase I decided to get myself an Imported one from the US by simply using ( sold and shipped ). Makes me wonder how they actually managed to still deliver a brand new one after almost a year since they had their Release in the US.
  • I bet one day someone will change the communism in china. No matter what violence or no violence people kill people. That why I love united states of America freedom
  • China has 4x population from USA but total prisoners count is around 1.5 million for china and 2.2 million for USA. The last time China was in war is 1945, USA is in war right now
  • China (as all major nations) have been involved in several wars since the ending of WWII.  They are currently involved in the Northern Mali War.
  • China however doesn't have an economy that thrives on the production and selling of weaponry. The USA on the other hand keep coming up with wars that they always lose, but that matters little because the weapon industry always makes a sh*t ton of money on them.
    The USA is also the only Western country were people and government stand by an interpretation of the 2nd amendment that allows citizens to hold arsenals in their homes, where people are so stupid that they allow that children can learn how to handle weapons and worst of all, people can but weapons along with their morning coffee and newspaper. This is not freedom. This is insanity.
  • That's why you have the highest amount of gun-related deaths too.
  • Harmonix should release/sell Chinese Dance songs on Dance Central Spotlight first :)
  • Chinese produce Xbox/PS and print DVDs and can not use them. What an irony:)
  • That's why I left China. -_-
  • Worse than stupidity. In countries like china, government is blind, thanks to mass usage of games (they suppose as illegal) on the net with 18+ rated contents. Those who played and are playing Soldier of Fortune in china 'till today  are more than any other country. as meeting shanghai, my friend told me that facebook is forbidden in favor of other local or home grown services; with VPN or any anti filter you were restricted to use facebook. Instead, " Duke Nukem: Time to kill " was popular (illegal)rom to run in Bleem! emulator. They play everything right now, in any genre and any rate of age, but government prefer illegal usage instead of official ones. In some countries, something are banned and people banned the law and use that illegally. There are some games which are heavy in sexual contents which is problem for many countries and many families around the world. Countries ban those games, some people reach those titles and even open illegal game clubs with unhealthy atmosphere, to do what? To face mushroom grown illegal entertainment places which led to (minimum) gaps between family members to (Maximum) public violence and prostitution. Poor Public Policies.
  • As a Chinese, you guys' words seem quite ridiculous. All kinds of consoles and games can be bought easily, in an unofficial way. Policies are policies, what people can do actually is completely another thing.
  • Gud that they r allowed to buy what's manufactured in china!
  • Communism try to monitor everything that can be a trigger to raise a revolution or that can be a threat for their regimen.
  • They should release a game about a theoretical war with China over cheapass products and pitch it to them out of spite.
  • What about sport games?
  • Yes. I do think Microsoft and Xbox will be successful in China. After fourteen years Chinese consumers hunger for legal gaming is finally being satisfied. I'm happy for Microsoft and the people of China.
  • Humm... Xbox Games are blocked, but Alibaba and Aliexpress can sell everything to all world. Ahm... Communism? Are you kidding me?
  •    Well, you oppress your people, you really don't want them getting too many ideas, they might start thinking for themselves, etc. Halo might make it through, simply because the hero can't be identified with the 'Western menace' and they're fighting against aliens and there's no red blood. Some fighting games like Street Fighter and Tekken should be safe since there's no blood but Mortal Kombat would never make it through. Puzzle and driving games should be safe enough but games like Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed will never make it through.