The Xbox One is set to be sold in mainland China from September, making the Microsoft machine the first console to be sold in the country since they were banned in 2000.
Talking to Reuters
, a China Telecom spokesperson said that the price had not yet been defined but that the console was being offered exclusively to its 30 million broadband customers. The console will also be available to the public at retail and is being sold through JD.com, China’s second largest e-commerce company.
The Chinese government banned the sale of gaming consoles in 2000 as they believed that games had a negative effect on mental health. The ban was lifted in January this year, although the government has previously stated it is only a temporary ban..
Gaming consoles were one of the unrestricted products listed as part of the creation of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone which was established last September. To take advantage of this, Microsoft formed a joint venture with BesTV New Media, a Chinese internet TV set-top box manufacturer, that would manufacture consoles in the Free Trade Zone.
The Xbox One was launched about a week apart from the Playstation 4 in November 2013. In order to better compete with its Sony rival, the previously essential Kinect was dropped as a compulsory tie in peripheral for the Xbox One, to bring the price of the machine down. According to Microsoft, this has resulted in sales of the console doubling between May and June.