China Telecom will exclusively sell Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox One game console in China starting from September. The Xbox One will be the first gaming system to be released in mainland China since the government banned game console sales in 2000. The move may help Microsoft to greatly boost sales of its latest game machine.
The Xbox One game console will be exclusively available from China Telecom, the country’s third largest telecommunication company, according to a report from Reuters, which cites a spokesperson for the telco. The deal should help both Microsoft and China Telecom as the Xbox One will be the first game console to be released in mainland China since 2000, when the authorities banned gaming machines citing games’ effects on mental health. The ban was lifted earlier this year and the demand for a new game console promises to be overwhelming.
Sales of Microsoft’s Xbox One have been trailing shipments of Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4, which was launched along with the new Xbox last November. The exclusive deal with China Telecom should boost sales of the Xbox One, especially if the system remains the only new-generation console in China for some time. Sony has not made any announcements regarding its PS4 plans in China.
Companies like Advanced Micro Devices, which supplies custom system-on-chips for Xbox One systems, should also benefit from better sales of the console.
Microsoft is going to start sales of its Xbox One in China along with the beginning of sales of the platform in many other regions and countries. It remains to be seen whether Microsoft manages to meet increased demand for its hardware.
Demand for Xbox One in China should peak in February, 2015, when Chinese people celebrate the New Year according to the Chinese lunisolar calendar.
Microsoft did not comment on the news-story.
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KitGuru Says: While the pact with China Telecom will most likely help to boost sales of Xbox One consoles, it is not completely clear how this will affect the platform in the long run. Chinese prefer different games than gamers in Europe and the U.S., so Microsoft will have to make investments in development of such games. As a result, increased popularity of the platform because of China will hardly affect quality or quantity of titles in other regions.