BEIJING, April 30 (UPI) -- Microsoft announced that it will sell the Xbox One in China through its joint venture with BesTV New Media, after China lifted its ban on gaming consoles.
The move comes after China released rules earlier this year defining how foreign gaming companies would be allowed to enter the Chinese market. After China indicated the release of such rules last year, Microsoft tied up with BesTV New Media, a Chinese Internet TV company.
“Launching Xbox One in China is a significant milestone for us and for the industry,” Yusuf Mehdi, a Microsoft corporate vice president, said in a statement. “And it’s a step forward in our vision to deliver the best games and entertainment experiences to more fans around the world.”
China had banned gaming consoles in 2000, after government officials felt it would have a negative impact on the population. The opening up of the Chinese market will be huge for game developers and console makers.
But they will have to overcome a population deeply entrenched in mobile gaming and playing PC games. These gamers may not be easily lured away from the gaming mediums they use currently.
Microsoft also announced a new developer program to develop and sell games "fused with Chinese culture" for local as well as international distribution.
The Xbox One console will also debut in 42 other countries, including India, Japan, Korea and Singapore. Microsoft had previously confirmed only 26 markets.