Skip to main content

The Chinese console race has begun: Xbox One to launch in China this September

chinese console race begun xbox one launch china september xboxoneiscomingtochina web
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The race for the Chinese gaming console market is on. After the repeal of a 14-year ban that prohibited the sale of gaming consoles, Microsoft confirms that the Xbox One will launch in the People’s Republic of China this September.

“On behalf of the entire Xbox team, we are incredibly excited to bring Xbox One and the next generation of games, entertainment, online education and fitness to China,” Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi said. “Launching Xbox One in China is a significant milestone for us and for the industry, and it’s a step forward in our vision to deliver the best games and entertainment experiences to more fans around the world.”

The Xbox One will be the first gaming console to officially be sold in China since 2000. It won’t be alone for long though; Sony has already announced its intention to bring the PlayStation 4 to Chinese shores, and it recently opened a new office in Japan dedicated to coming up with strategies specifically for the Chinese market. Both Microsoft and Sony will still need to adhere to the strict rules imposed by the Chinese governments, but the potential is high.

In 2013, the gaming industry in China saw revenue of over $13 billion, a 38-percent increase over 2012. According to Microsoft’s estimates, close to a half a billion people in China play games, which means there are currently almost as many active Chinese gamers as there are people in all of North America combined. The challenge for companies like Microsoft and Sony will be to convince those gamers to leave their PCs – the dominant gaming platform in the country – and embrace a new type of hardware that most have never been exposed to.

To help expand its profile and bring authorized content to the Xbox One, Microsoft is partnering with BesTV, one of China’s leading providers of home entertainment electronics and VOD services. BesTV’s subsidiary Funshion provides media content in a manner similar to Hulu and Netflix, and a recent partnership between it and Microsoft  — dubbed E-Home Entertainment — was announced in 2013.

“Our joint venture is committed to providing opportunities for creators to unleash their imaginations for games, online education and fitness experiences for China and beyond,” Medhi said. “As part of our partnership, E-Home Entertainment is investing to establish an innovation program that will enable creators and developers to build, publish, and sell their games on Xbox One in China and in other markets where Xbox is available.”

Microsoft did not specify what it will offer along with the Xbox One when it releases, and the console will need to follow the guidelines laid out by the Chinese Ministry of Culture. Any games released will need to be approved before they can be sold, and not all Xbox One games currently available or planned for release prior to the September launch will be approved. Battlefield 4, for instance, has already been banned due to negative depictions of China.

We reached out to Microsoft for clarification on how the Chinese restrictions may change the company’s current development model and what games may be part of the launch, but were told Microsoft did not have any additional information to share at this point.

Editors' Recommendations

Ryan Fleming
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Ryan Fleming is the Gaming and Cinema Editor for Digital Trends. He joined the DT staff in 2009 after spending time covering…
This could be your excuse to finally buy the Xbox Elite Controller 2
The Xbox Elite Series 2 Core controller.

If you're looking for a controller to pair with the machine that you just purchased from gaming PC deals, or if you want a premium controller after buying a console from Xbox Series X deals, one of the best options in the market right now is the Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2. It's pretty expensive at its original price of $180 though, which is why you should take advantage of Dell's 19% discount that drops its price to $145. We're not sure how much time is remaining for the $35 in savings, so you're going to have to be quick in completing the transaction.

Why you should buy the Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2
The Microsoft Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is featured in our lists of the best PC controllers and the best Xbox Series X accessories because of the extreme customization that it offers. The controller features removable analog sticks with adjustable tension, a directional pad that may be replaced with a circular version, four back paddles that may be programmed to perform any button's function, and up to three profiles to save your settings. The customizable paddles in particular will give you a unique advantage for certain types of games -- for example, you can keep your thumb on the right thumbstick to aim and hit the paddle for a melee attack, instead of having to move your thumb off the thumbstick to press a face button.

Read more
Xbox Series S and Series X just had their prices slashed at this retailer
Xbox Series X and S system.

We've found an unlikely source of Xbox Series S deals and Xbox Series X deals, if you're planning to buy one of Microsoft's current-generation consoles. Dell has slashed the price of the Xbox Series S by $60, so it's down to $240 from $300, while the Xbox Series X is discounted by $50 for a lowered price of $450 from $500. We're not sure how much time is remaining on these savings, so if you want to get either console for cheaper than usual, it's highly recommended that you proceed with the purchase as soon as possible. If you keep delaying the transaction, there's a chance that you miss out.
Microsoft Xbox Series S -- $240, was $300

The Microsoft Xbox Series S is the cheaper version among the two consoles, primarily because it goes fully digital as there's no disc drive. You'll instead be downloading your games from the Xbox Store, or through your subscription to Xbox Game Pass. You'll still be able to play the best Xbox Series X games on the Xbox Series S, whether they're multi-platform hits or the best Xbox Series X exclusives. If you prefer going digital with your games anyway, and you like the titles that you can access through Xbox Game Pass, the Xbox Series S may be more than enough for you, and it's going to let you save some cash compared to buying the Xbox Series X.

Read more
Xbox games on PS5? It’s not as shocking as you think
Key art for Starfield

It's been a busy few weeks for console war soldiers.

Tensions spiked last month when "Nate the Hate," an industry insider with a decent track record, claimed that Hi-Fi Rush was headed to Nintendo Switch. The rumor sparked some mixed feelings among Xbox fans, some of whom expressed dismay over one of the console's system-selling exclusives coming to another platform. Other reports at the time claimed that Rare's Sea of Thieves could also be bound for PlayStation and Switch. That rising anger came to a head this weekend when XboxEra reported that Xbox is planning to launch its biggest exclusive, Starfield, on PS5.

Read more