Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced Wednesday that it will launch the Xbox One in China on Sept. 23 for 3,699 yuan ($600), making it the first gaming console approved for sale in mainland China since the government banned the sale of such devices in the country in 2000.
Xbox One will offer a set of more than 70 different games, including exclusive content, free games and blockbuster titles, as well as movies, sports, documentaries, TV shows, a fitness program and locally-developed applications for Chinese consumers.
“We’re honored that Xbox One is the first console approved for sale in China through the Shanghai Free Trade Zone,” Yusuf Mehdi, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of marketing for Devices and Studios, said in a statement.
Some of the titles expected to be available on the first day of Xbox One's launch in China include Forza Motorsport 5, Kinect Sports Rivals, Powerstar Golf, Zoo Tycoon and Max: The Curse of Brotherhood.
After the launch, the Xbox One games portfolio will include other titles such as Sunset Overdrive and Halo: The Master Chief Collection. In addition, some of the world’s largest games developers, including Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA), Ubisoft Entertainment SA (EPA:UBI) and 2K, are also working to bring their popular titles to China on the Xbox One.
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Every Xbox One console sold in China will include Powerstar Golf and Neverwinter Online games with a Special Edition Pack, free access to Xbox Live Gold through March 2015 and a local-language interface with translated content and local payment methods.
Microsoft has been working with BesTv New Media Co Ltd (SHA:600637), a local manufacturer of Internet TV set-top boxes, to produce the Xbox One consoles in Shanghai's Free Trade Zone.
The partnership with BesTv will provide users of the Xbox One access to “hundreds of thousands of hours of entertainment content including blockbuster movies, sports, documentaries and on-demand TV programs,” according to the statement. BesTV will also help consumers unlock access to premium sports games, such as the English Premiere League, at no cost in the first year.
“We’re dedicated to earning millions of fans in China by working with BesTV to deliver an all in one games and entertainment experience starting September 23,” Mehdi said.