China hasn’t had a games console since the year 2000 due to a ban, so the introduction of the Xbox One to the country via China Telecom in September is likely going to provide a massive sales spike for the beleaguered console.
The deal, which was announced on Friday via Reuters includes an exclusivity agreement. Chinese Telecom already has over 30 million subscribers, and stands to gain even more customers through the deal. Microsoft, meanwhile, stands to explode its Xbox One sales figures.
Microsoft’s China spokesperson, Joanna Li, told Reuters that when the Xbox One launches in September, it would also be made available via retail. The exclusivity, then, means China Telecom is the only broadband company that will be offering the Xbox One to its customers, not that it will be the only way Chinese consumers can get themselves a console.
The move may see Microsoft winning the latest-generation console war in the long run, if raw sales numbers are an indication of success. Which they are, since that’s how the gaming industry has thus far measured the PS4 and the Xbox One against each other.
Sony’s PlayStation 4 has, up to this point, been giving the Xbox One a bit of a kicking; the latest NPD figures show that despite a huge price drop and a big uptick in sales compared to previous months, the Xbox One is still being beaten by the PS4, even in its home territory.
China banned console sales back in 2000 citing “worries over violent content and the potential for moral decay” (via CNN), but lifted the ban in early 2014 by allowing consoles to be manufactured in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, “an experiment testing ground on economic reform”.
That means publishers now have access to the most populous nation on Earth. At least, publishers whose games appear on the Xbox One.
Can you say “cha-ching”?[Source – Reuters]