Microsoft is gearing up for a historic Xbox One console launch in China a little bit later this year. In partnership with BesTV New Media Co., a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group, Microsoft will release its popular game system to an eager gaming audience that sits at over half a billion large in China this September.
What makes this event so significant is China's long-held ban on game consoles that spanned the past 14 years. Earlier this year, China announced it would temporarily lift the ban on foreign consoles, thereby providing an opening for Microsoft (Xbox One), Sony (PlayStation 4) and Nintendo (Wii U) to build their respective game boxes in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and sell them throughout the country.
This will be the first Xbox launch in China. However, the lifting of the ban isn't without certain restrictions on games and content -- specifically, anything that promotes gambling, violence, racial/ethnic hatred, and drug use will not be permitted, along with a bunch of other restrictions.
"On behalf of the entire Xbox team, we are incredibly excited to bring Xbox One and the next generation of games, entertainment, online education and fitness to China," Microsoft said. "Launching Xbox One in China is a significant milestone for us and for the industry, and it’s a step forward in our vision to deliver the best games and entertainment experiences to more fans around the world."
This is also a big deal for Microsoft as it attempts to gain ground in the console wars that's currently led by Sony. Less than two weeks ago, Sony announced that PS4 sales have exceeded the 7 million mark. Around the same time, Microsoft announced 5 million Xbox One console shipments to retailers.