Financial News

  • 30 April 2014, 19:25

Xbox One To Hit China After Console Ban Lifted

Microsoft has announced it will launch the Xbox One in China after a 14-year-old ban on consoles was lifted.

It becomes the first foreign country to announce the sale of a console since the ban was rescinded in January.

Gaming consoles were banned in 2000 amid fears the mental health of young people in the country could be damaged by the devices.

It meant major gaming firms such as Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony have been locked out of one of the world's booming markets.

A message on Microsoft's website called the news "monumental" for the company.

"The culture of games and entertainment is rapidly growing in China, with nearly half a billion people playing games - roughly a third of the country's population and more than the entire population of North America."

Microsoft has teamed up with BesTV, a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group, to distribute the consoles from September.

Sales of the Xbox One have lagged behind those of Playstation 4, partly due to Sony launching its console in more countries than Microsoft.

The move into China may help the Xbox One pick up some momentum in the console sales battle.

Without console gaming, China's games scene is currently dominated by PC, mobile and online games.

In 2013, the gaming industry in China was worth 8bn, a rise of around 40% on the previous year.

Advertisement