Although Xbox One sales have been pretty strong since launch in November, things hit a significant snag when the console rolled out to Japan. To be it more bluntly, the Japanese Xbox One launch was a bit of a failure for Microsoft.
It is with that in mind that we bring news that Microsoft has delayed the planned Chinese launch for the Xbox One. The console was originally slated to release this Tuesday, but now Microsoft has said the device will hit the Chinese market before the end of the year.
The more telling aspect of this delay, though, is the lack of explanation for Microsoft’s decision. While few would fault Microsoft for pulling the launch because of limited supplies, the fact that the company says nothing has drawn some curious looks. Could the failures in Japan have given Microsoft pause about launching in another Asian territory?
Whatever the case may be, we’re sure that a few extra months of waiting is a drop in the pond compared to the 14-year console ban Chinese gamers had to endure. Back in 2000, the Chinese government issued a ban on gaming consoles, but they finally lifted it this year. However, this was after Microsoft signed a joint venture to manufacture Xbox One consoles in Shangai’s Free Trade Zone.
Despite that prior console ban, China is still the third largest gaming market in the world. Most of that is PC and mobile-based gaming, but that could soon change when the Xbox One hits. Or the Xbox One launch could go relatively unnoticed by the Chinese population, much like the console did in Japan.
Either way, Microsoft has to make a play for the territory and Sony is currently working on their own free trade manufacturing agreement for the PS4. There’s no word on when the PS4 might hit Chinese shores, however, so Microsoft will likely have a lead regardless.
It’s obviously been a different story so far around the rest of the world, with Sony pulling a substantial lead out of the gate. PS4s have been selling very well since launch, and have been outpacing Microsoft for 8 straight months. Granted, the Xbox One has closed some of that gap thanks to the un-bundling of Kinect, but it still hasn’t overtaken the PS4. Things could get interesting in the next few months, though.
Why do you think Microsoft delayed the Chinese launch for the Xbox One? Do you think the Xbox One or PS4 will have greater success in the territory?