Microsoft to launch Xbox One game console in China

Chinese gamers The ban on consoles has seen PC games dominate the Chinese gaming market

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Microsoft has said that Xbox One will go on sale in China in September.

It is the first foreign company to announce the sale of its consoles in China after the country lifted a 14-year old ban in January this year.

Microsoft will launch the console in collaboration with BesTV New Media Co, a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group.

China's gaming market, which is currently dominated by PC, mobile and online games, is seen as a key growth area for console makers.

"Launching Xbox One in China is a significant milestone for us and for the industry," said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice-president at Microsoft.

The firms did not disclose the expected selling price in China.

'Opportunities are endless'

China banned gaming consoles in 2000, citing their adverse effect on the mental health of young people.

Start Quote

The opportunities are endless for creators to unleash their imaginations for games, online education and fitness experiences for China and beyond”

End Quote Enwei Xie Microsoft

The restriction stayed in place, with a brief exception made for the PlayStation 2 in 2004.

Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony have since missed out on the rapid growth of gaming in the country.

The industry generated revenues of $13bn (£8bn) in 2013, a 38% jump from a year ago.

But majority of that is dominated by PC gaming, not least because of the ban on games consoles.

However, earlier this year China said that it would allow foreign firms to make consoles within Shanghai's free-trade zone and sell them in China after inspection by cultural departments.

"Creators and gamers alike have eagerly awaited a new generation of entertainment experiences in China, and their wait will be over with the arrival of Xbox One this year," said Enwei Xie, who will head Xbox China for Microsoft.

The two firms said they would also launch an programme that will enable creators and developers to build, publish and sell their games on Xbox One in China as well as in other markets where Xbox is available.

"The opportunities are endless for creators to unleash their imaginations for games, online education and fitness experiences for China and beyond," said Mr Xie.

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