Microsoft’s Xbox One is coming to China in September, the same month the Redmond-based company plans to launch their next generation console in Japan and 25 other countries. Such news wouldn’t normally be particularly noteworthy except for the fact this will be the first major game system sold in the country since recently lifting its 13-year ban on console sales.
China famously banned video game console sales in 2000 over concerns that violent and mature games may cause physical or developmental issues in the country’s youth. The move led to an increase in PC gaming but earlier this year, the country agreed to temporarily lift the ban. They still plan to ban titles that promote stuff like violence, gambling, obscenity and drug use, however.
According to a report from Re/code, Microsoft will sell the Xbox One through a partnership with Chinese company BesTV. Microsoft has to partner with them in order to comply with the requirement that consoles be produced in a designated free trade zone within Shanghai.
Sources say Microsoft is planning to make the announcement sometime today although the publication spoiled the surprise by leaking the information a day early. Another publication was able to uncover a video of the announcement on YouTube although it was promptly made private once the media picked up on it.
It’ll be interesting to see what sort of impact a China release will have on sales of the console as Microsoft has thus far been losing the next generation console battle to Sony’s PlayStation 4.