Microsoft aiming to launch Xbox in China

By Zhang Ye Source:Global Times Published: 2014-3-31 1:08:02

A senior executive with Microsoft Corporation said that the company is stepping up efforts to bring in its multi-purpose Xbox game console to the Chinese market as soon as possible, domestic news portal reported Sunday.

During a two-day China (Shenzhen) IT Summit that began Saturday, Zhang Yaqin, global vice president of the US software giant, was quoted as saying that much progress in technologies and content has been achieved and the company expects to launch the Xbox in China soon.

Foreign game console makers have been eyeing China's huge gaming industry for a long time.

A January report by Beijing-based market research firm Analysys International showed that total sales in China's gaming market reached 84.2 billion yuan ($13.6 billion) in 2013, predicting the number will increase to 109.3 billion yuan in 2014.

They can now make an entrance into the market after the State Council, the country's cabinet, said in early January that foreign-invested enterprises within the Shanghai free trade zone can now manufacture gaming consoles in the zone and sell them in China.

Microsoft seems to have gotten a leg up on other peers such as Sony and Nintendo. The company has already set up a joint venture with China's first listed new media content provider BesTV New Media Co in September 2013 and located the venture in the zone.

Foreign game consoles like Xbox may be attractive to some Chinese high-end game players, but many price-sensitive Chinese users will likely buy cheaper devices developed by domestic companies such as Huawei and TCL, Xue Wenfeng, an industry analyst with Analysys International, told the Global Times Sunday.

The Xbox One, roughly priced at $440 on Amazon, is a multi-purpose device that enables users to watch online videos, listen to music as well as play video games.

Zhang noted that the company would add more content to the Xbox suitable for Chinese users.

Believing that many Chinese gamers will likely prefer playing games in the living room with the open policy, Chinese telecommunications equipment maker Huawei Technologies disclosed a plan in January to introduce a self-developed game console "TRON" to its home market in the second quarter of this year. Huawei said the device will be sold for less than 1,000 yuan each.

Chinese electronics maker TCL Corp is also reportedly planning to launch its game console on major online shopping platform on April 9, though it hasn't revealed the price tag.

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