While Microsoft’s Xbox One has already made its worldwide debut in many of the major markets around the globe, there are a few still left waiting. Some markets are waiting by virtue of Microsoft‘s sales plan, while others are missing out altogether for various reasons.
One region, however, that has broken through the cultural barrier is China, who, as just announced late last night, will now see its first foreign console release in almost 15 years. According to Microsoft, the Xbox One will hit Chinese shores in September of this year. Unfortunately, neither a firm price point or release date were provided.
What makes this console launch so significant is what it means for Chinese gamers. Back in 2000, the Chinese government issued a countrywide ban prohibiting game console sales within the country. The move was enacted under the pretense of protecting Chinese youth from the “harmful effects of video games,” a credo China still stands behind to this day.
However, in early January China temporarily lifted the ban, allowing companies like Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo to sell their consoles in the country. And very soon Microsoft, alongside partner BesTV, will make the Xbox One the first new console available since 2000.
Obviously, this news gives Microsoft a significant boost to their yearly sales potential and puts them in a good place for the rest of the year. Although the Xbox One has been selling well in its 47 markets — tallying about 5 million units thus far — it is still trailing the PS4, which just recently crossed the 7 million unit mark. And even though there’s no reason to think that Sony, and Nintendo for that matter, won’t follow suit and roll out into China, Microsoft will be the first, and sometimes being first to market makes all the difference.
Regardless of its financial significance, though, this news is more important because it means our fellow Chinese gamers will finally have access to the same consoles we have been enjoying for the past half-year. It also means China is starting to loosen its restrictions on video games, which is always a good thing.
Do you think being first to market in China will give Microsoft significant boost? What do you think will help Microsoft boost sales to catch up to Sony?