Following China’s decision to recently lift a long-standing console ban, we knew it was only a matter of time before consoles started heading into the country through legitimate channels.
Microsoft announced plans this week to bring the Xbox One to China this September.
It’s not like there aren’t gamers in China. Mobile and PC gaming are huge, with China leading the growing free-to-play segment of the market. As Yusuf Medhi states in the video above, there’s a huge gaming market in China, and a strong presence from Microsoft could give the Xbox One a boost that helps it better compete with the PlayStation 4.
The ban was specific to devices designed only for gaming, so only devices like consoles and handheld gaming machines were affected. Because of this, selling a device designed primarily for games might be a hard task at first. This makes the Xbox One, which has a larger media focus on top of its gaming capabilities, especially well-suited to the region. Television and fitness options could be big parts of the console’s success, whereas in the U.S., they’re seen as distractions from the system’s primary focus. Microsoft’s partner, BesTV, can also bring local television content to the platform.
As GamesBeat notes, China is quickly becoming more affluent and even passed the U.S. as the top buyer of new televisions last year.
On the other side of the coin, though, Chinese gamers are already used to having to go around the legitimate market to get access to console games. Microsoft will have to address the piracy problem to gain a real foothold.