Microsoft Launching Xbox One in China for $600
In 2000, China banned the sale of gaming devices throughout the country. However, today, there is good news for gamers. Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it was given the go-ahead to launch their Xbox One on September 23. The price starts at 3,699 yuan or $600. This is the first gaming console approved for sale since 2000.
In addition to the console, Microsoft will offer over 70 games such as free games, their most popular titles, exclusive content, fitness games, TV, movies and locally-developed content built specifically for the Chinese market. It should be a whirlwind for both Microsoft and the anticipated rush of buyers.
Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of marketing for Devices and Studios stated, “We’re honored that Xbox One is the first console approved for sale in China through the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. We’re dedicated to earning millions of fans in China by working with BesTV to deliver an all in one games and entertainment experience starting September 23.”
Some included game titles are, Forza Motorsport 5, Kinect Sports Rivals, Powerstar Golf, Zoo Tycoon and Max: The Curse of Brotherhood. Other titles that will launch include, Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Moreover, games from Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), Ubisoft Entertainment SA (EPA:UBI) and 2K are expected.
Zhang Dazhong, senior vice president of Shanghai Media Group and chairman of the board of E-Home Entertainment is quoted as saying, “We’ve been working together with Microsoft for more than a year to prepare for the launch of Xbox One and our organizations share a vision for bringing entertainment and gaming innovation to our consumers. We are excited to start delivering on that promise and are committed to fostering China’s original game development.”
On the other hand, this Xbox One will not come with the Kinect sensor, and it is priced around $200 more than the U.S. version with the sensor. What’s the reason for the price discrepancy? Well, China has a 17 percent value-added tax on imported goods. Microsoft is trying to explain this to their potential buyers. The good news is Microsoft will offer less expensive games, starting at $16 or 249 yuan per title. Also, the package will come with hundreds of hours of entertainment content that Microsoft hopes will add value to the deal.
There is a gray market and the Xbox hasn’t sold well there. This is where sellers buy consoles from other countries to sell in China. One dealer, named Qui, shares, “A lot of the shops here sometimes can’t even sell one unit in a month. The system is still too expensive, when compared to the PlayStation 4, which prices for 2700 yuan on the gray market. The Xbox One also has too few games.”
Another problem for the Xbox One is that it doesn’t have a Chinese-language version yet either. However, Playstation 4 developed a Hong Kong version. Although, the fact that Microsoft is allowed to sell their official version means that customers may flock to buy it. Since they can get a warranty now, it might give them more peace of mind when shelling out their hard-earned cash.
Thanks for reading. How do you think sales will fare for Xbox One? Let us know in the comments section below!