After China announced that it would be removing its ban on gaming consoles, there was speculation as to which console manufacturer would try to take advantage of the new market. Up until now, it appeared that Microsoft would be the first to release its console in the Chinese market on September 23. However, the company changed its mind today, the day before the official release, and has announced that the Xbox One will be available in China sometime later this year.
"At Xbox, we pride ourselves on delivering first-rate gaming and entertainment experiences, and to allow us to deliver on that promise, we need to reschedule the launch of Xbox One," a Microsoft spokesperson said to Polygon. "Working with our partner, BesTV, we look forward to launching in China by the end of this year."
The last-minute announcement by Microsoft leaves a lot of questions to be answered. Especially since rumors are that 100,000 Xbox Ones have been pre-ordered prior to the launch. Perhaps Microsoft is trying to buy time to rethink its marketing strategy considering that the Xbox One’s launch in Japan, on September 4, only led to the sale of 23,562 units within its first four days. While Xbox consoles have not done so well in Japan, this is the worst launch so far in the console’s history for that market.
In the meantime, Xbox’s general manager for China informed consumers that those who pre-ordered the console will receive an added bonus with the console and be the first to get the Xbox One when it finally launches. The company’s planned launch event at the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai will still take place on Monday and where they will have a giveaway for 100 Xbox Ones.
Yet while Microsoft is preparing to release the Xbox One, Sony and Nintendo are also eyeing the new market. Sony has partnered with a local firm, owned by BesTV, to launch PlayStation products in Chine but no word on which products or when has been revealed. Meanwhile Nintendo, back in May, spoke about its intention to release new game devices in emerging markets but haven’t provided any further details on the subject.
Why do you think Microsoft waited until the last second to delay the Xbox One’s launch in China?