Earlier this summer, rumor had it that China was getting ready to lift the 13 year long ban on game consoles, and now, according to a report from Polygon, the rumors appear to have come true.
Microsoft will be entering into a joint venture with BesTV, a Chinese Internet TV company, to launch a new gaming device that will also offer streaming entertainment services in China. According to Polygon, unconfirmed reports have the new device being named Bestpad and using Xbox technology, both of which are not a far reach considering the two companies involved. BesTV already manufactures televisions in China, and the Shanghai free trade zone will allow Microsoft to sell hardware in the country as well.
It’s tough to tell exactly what Microsoft and BesTV have in store, but the initial investment from the two companies of $237 million is not insignificant. It could be the first step to bringing the Xbox One over, it could be a Surface-fueled gaming tablet if the unconfirmed rumors above are true. With the size of the potential market, though, any crossover between the Chinese market and the existing console markets could have a huge impact.
Microsoft, of course, was vague, telling Polygon that “This is the first step of many to come for Microsoft and BesTV. We look forward to exploring new opportunities for bringing entertainment offerings to China, but we have no further details to share.”