Almost a year after launching it in the US, Microsoft has finally launched its Xbox One gaming console in China, making it the first major game system in several years to be sold through official channels in the country. Although the launch was supposed to happen last week, it got delayed.
The gaming console, which is now available for sale in 4,000 retail stores across 37 cities in China, is priced at 4,299 yuan ($700) with the motion-sensing Kinect controller. This compares to the $499.99 price tag that the same combination sells for in the US.
Due to government restrictions on violent content, the total number of games currently available is very low -- only 10 so far, including Forza Motorsport 5, Kinect Sports Rivals, and Zoo Tycoon. Some of the popular titles that are absent include Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Destiny, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, and more.
Microsoft says it is working to bring 70 more games to the Xbox One Chinese audience, including titles like Halo and Killer Instinct.
Back in 2000, the year before Microsoft debuted its first Xbox, China banned gaming consoles, citing their negative effect on the mental health of its youth. The ban, which remained in place for 14 years, was finally lifted in January this year.
Video-game sales in China, which is the world's third largest gaming market, are estimated to hit 111 billion yuan ($18 billion) this year.