After dev claims Xbox One will fail in China, Microsoft says region has "lots of interest" in consoles

Head of Xbox Phil Spencer meets with developers in Shanghai and says there is "lots of interest in consoles and how Chinese studios can get to worldwide gamers."

Just a day after Alice developer American McGee laid out his reasons why he believes the Xbox One will fail in China, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has issued a statement of his own, which is much more positive about the console's prospects in the region.

"In Shanghai today talking to devs about Xbox coming. Lots of interest in consoles and how Chinese studios can get to worldwide gamers," Spencer said on Twitter.

Spencer didn't give anything more in the way of specifics, like which developers he spoke with or what they discussed. Microsoft announced Wednesday that it would launch the Xbox One in China this September through a partnership with BesTV.

It should come as no surprise that Spencer is speaking positively about the Xbox One's prospects, as he is after all the man in charge of the platform and would like to see it succeed.

China is a massive potential market for the Xbox One; there are more gamers there than the entire US population. Microsoft also has a first-mover advantage in the country, as neither Nintendo nor Sony have announced plans to enter the market yet.

Still, China's recently disclosed list of censorship rules, which make clear that games sold in the country will not be allowed to promote drug use or violence, could limit the popularity of consoles in the country. China relaxed its 14-year ban on consoles earlier this year. The country originally implemented the ban in 2000 over concerns that video games could negatively impact the physical and mental development of children.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and is a big UCONN athletics fan.

Discussion

205 comments
Geowil
Geowil

PS4s are still hard to find.  Here in Phoenix only about 13 of the 30 Walmarts within 40 miles of my house had Ps4s and the one nearest me only have three left in stock with two being sold the day I went to get mine (me and another guy who was already there buying one).  They had 25 XB1's in the back and three in the display case when that guy, the tech department guy, and I got to talking about console sales.  They only sold 5 XB1's over the past month there but sold 27 Ps4's over the same time.

tonyyu1996
tonyyu1996

and it is truly a fact that foreigners arent well acknowledged about chinese people,but chinese got a lot about us.uk. and so on.

mos2000
mos2000

American Mcgee's assertion - though supported by some facts, are too ridiculous and heavy handed to predict now.


Even though black market and cheap devices riddle the market, the push for a more legal streamlined gaming system will be heavily supported and enforced by the Chinese govt.  The govt may have been laxed on enforcing due to there being no legal alternative, but now there is one - you better believe they will begin to turn up the heat. This will include piracy.


Also, due to Chinese co Tencent's 40% acquisition of Epic games there is a pipeline directly from China to Microsoft developed.This is via the Gears of War developer, in regards to Chinese gaming culture. Heck - as far as we know... the ban lift could be all due to this relationship and the viability expressed to their govt due to this partnership. To go along with the inevitable Chinese govt push, will follow competent games and apps that will appeal to the community.


Lastly, The Xbone is a technically impressive machine for a console - that functions well in everything multimedia. Is it the best graphic rendering machine this gen - no.  But graphics based off Mcgee's assertion are not on top of the list for Chinese gamers.  If they deal primarily with android based games, a console that can surpass the power they currently are exposed to, and service a wide variety of multemedia needs has a very good chance.  Additions such as Kinect may also do well there, despite it's lackluster appeal in the west.


This apparently is a stab at Sony's lock on gaming in Asia per Japan.  MS will never be able to compete there as long as Sony's around.  With that said it is a smart move - and one that will be heavily backed by the Chinese govt.  Does it make western gamers feel good inside about it -no , but to say so early it is doomed is a serious stretch.

kahnseal
kahnseal

sony just upset the ps4 selling poorly in home country. lol.

lubbalots
lubbalots

lets wait and see before judging, ok? If MS fail, it's not your problem.

Vodoo
Vodoo

I don't get why they would censor the consoles but the pc can roam free. All that is irrelevant anyway because pirating and black market items are Chinas GDP. They'll probably rob Microsoft blind so game companies will never want to sell anything there ever again.

lostn
lostn

Consoles will fail in China. Here's the problem, China is just as xenophobic as Japan with respect to American products. However, in addition to that, they also hate all things Japan made. So basically all 3 consoles will sell about as well (with respect to population) as the Xbox does in Japan.


You can see this with cars as well. American and Japanese cars sell poorly there. They've forced a lot of Japanese car factories to shut down also. Volkswagen has been a major beneficiary in all this, being a european brand.

deadpen
deadpen

I feel as if A LOT of apps will be blocked on this country's version of the system. 

gajbutler
gajbutler

China are just ahead of the curve, they are the PC master race and I will bow down to our future overlords. 

brxricano
brxricano

Im not crazy about Chinas dev scene considering all the shit clone games they make.

onixevil
onixevil

I'm with China's direction cause i'm sick with the bad contents on many known games and i see it as a challenge to dis value these contents . Games wasn't suppose to include these contents back in old days and still earns the quality it. 

psboring
psboring

American McGee is a tool. He made one ok game and a pile of crap. So far he's right down there with Peter molynuex. I wouldn't take anything he says seriously.

teller76567
teller76567

Way late to the party but damage control much?

Tomcat2007
Tomcat2007

Sony fanboy logic:  This shows how desperate Microsoft is to sell their console, trying to be the first to enter a country with the largest consumer base ever known.  They should stop doing this right away because, well, their name is Microsoft that's why.   

sephirothsfan02
sephirothsfan02

Pff a dudebro TV cable box is doomed in a country full of smart pc gamers

xcollector
xcollector

"Lots of interest in consoles and how Chinese studios can get to worldwide gamers,"

What this means is China is interested in making your games so you can give them your money, just like how you do for most other things. They are not necessarily interested in their own people buying from outside thus giving you their money.


This could be interesting. We could see a fox con for video game development that US publishers outsource all the work to because that is what US companies like to do. The Chinese will certainly undercut the market and devalue it if given the chance. US devs have complained about slave hours before but they don't know it like the Chinese do.

deathstream
deathstream

Has McGee ever made a successful game?

alaskancrab
alaskancrab

If the Chinese had a healthy respect for foreign IP laws then it might work out.  But they don't , so the only winner is possibly Microsoft but even they depend on licensing fees made from developers.

AuronAXE
AuronAXE

Classic Eddie Makuch. But anyway, if Microsoft listens to feedback it might actually figure out a way to get a dent in the market. Anything is possible, they just really need to understand they're target audience and what could prevent them from succeeding.

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

"It should come as no surprise that Spencer is speaking positively about the Xbox One's prospects, as he is after all the man in charge of the platform and would like to see it succeed."

Good for you, Eddie, did you get to that conclusion all by yourself?

Aaronp2k
Aaronp2k

sorry but xbox one in china is a bad idea. this phil spencer seems to be just as stubborn as any other higher up in microsoft. the xbox 360 alone should be evidence enough of how badly the xbox one is going to sell in china.

randomkidlol
randomkidlol

Theyre really desperate to move consoles huh? Gotta clear out all of the unsold warehouse stock from the lack of sales in the rest of the world.

Faye_Tallity
Faye_Tallity

I don't trust china. Not buying any "Made in China" products. No one should. It's poisonous to humans & pets alike! They have Zero food regulations, so why would you wanna buy from them? The avian bird flu, supposedly originated from there. So if your food is made in China....get some money ready for your ambulance ride!  

Geowil
Geowil

To add, I think someone that lives in China and has done so for years and made games there will know more about the development atmosphere than some multibillion dollar company that likely paid all those people to appear on stage.

curtaseeflush
curtaseeflush

Either none of you know this or just ignore the fact that American McGee has lived in China, Shanghai for nearly 10 Years now, Developing games, and Japan, Hong Kong before that.

He has opened a Studio their, Spicey Horse, which is now the largest independent game development house in the nation(China)

He has a very, very close relationship with other developers in China and knows the Asian Markets pretty darn well, especially Chinas.

But Alot of you are forgetting that their a some, not alot but some Japanese MMO's being played in china and are successful. But Japan caters to Chinas needs and base the game around Chinese culture and History.

I can remember at some point when Chinas Console ban was lifted that Sony were Very Interested in releasing PS4 in China, so wouldnt be surprised if Sony announce Chinas release Date soon....ish for a end of year release or start of next year.

But yes, China and Japan had a very sour relationship. But their are alot of Japanese bussinesmen working in China who have become very successful.

My Head Chef goes to China Every Year and the Amount of Japanese Chefs China has begun to hire is HUGE. China wants to bring the Japanese Food Culture into Chinas, the same way Chinese Chefs are also hiring Chefs from Western Countries.

But they also Hire Japanese Game Developers, cause of their Talents.

Chinas hatred for Japan is actually very mild compared to what it was 20 Years ago, if the Chinese are fine with Socialising with Japanese.

Chinas fix seems to be making a game about killing Japs to get that anger off their back.

Plus you got to remember, China doesnt realy teach much about China loosing in Battles/Wars, they lie and Twist the facts and tend to glorify themselves so alot of the newer generations probaly dont have a large understanding of what Japan has done in the past. They only know what the Goverment wants you to know.

But Xbone will not do great at all. For 10 Years Consoles have been banned. Since then, the PC Gaming Industry has completely consumed the country. Everyone in China who is a gamer, has a PC. They only like a very selective number of Genres and the Idea of a console that will only have Childrens, Sport and racing Games is another reason for its failures on release. Cause even sports and Racing games can provoke violence in the Chinese Goverments eyes knowing their history.

Im only for PS4, detest Xbox, but Ill be the first fanboy to admit that I cant see PS4 doing any good in China either, and its a waste of time. China literally lives in its own world and they destroyed their own Console Market and cant see it improving. Every gamer in china has a PC, their extremely cheap to build High End PC's cause of the Black Market.

This is just MS being desperate. They know they can release the Xbone in the rest of Europe, but it wont make a difference cause those countries sold Xbox 360's very very poorly last gen.

Also, What has Epic games got to do with MS releasing xbone in China. Epic games is not owned by MS. Epic sold the Gears of War Franchise to MS.

Plus Tim Sweeney and Mark Rein still own just over 51% of epic Games, so its up to them whether they get involved with MS again

But Epic Games will never go Console Exclusive again. For starters Mark and Tim didnt like how limited they were by being Exclusive to MS all of last gen.

Then theirs the fact that with these Heavy Restrictions on Consoles in China, I cant imagine an Epic Games game being accepted into the asian market.

And no Xbone is not the most Tech Impressive Console this Gen. Remember how for the past 7 months, its been a simple and very easy to understand fact that PS4 is stronger.

But the Graphical power of their PC's is very good by the simple fact that its cheap for PC parts over their. So the Xbones power will not impress most in China.

brande77
brande77

@xcollector Many major companies already have local Chinese dev studio branches, and have for some time.

rob9999991
rob9999991

@Aaronp2k When was the 360 offered for sale in China?.. Oh wait, it wasn't. If you think China and Japan are the same market with similar demographics you are sadly mistaken. Get some facts before you post.

blackace
blackace

@Aaronp2k I doubt they think they will sell 10-15 million in china. They sold 1.6 million in Japan, which is probably the most every sold of a U.S. game console. If they can sell 1-2 million in China they will be happy. Like Japan however, I think the price of the XB1 & the PS4 will be too high for anyone in China get too excited about the launches. Like some else has already said, both PS4 and XB1 consoles are already in China. Neither system is ergionally locked, so they just import the system and buy or pirate the cheaper games.

Kunakai
Kunakai

@Aaronp2k  Wasn't there a console ban in China for almost the entire lifespan of the 360? 

I'm not sure how selling more consoles could be a bad idea in any respect even if they didn't sell as many as they may hope? 

rob9999991
rob9999991

@randomkidlol Are you talking about the X1?... They system that in not released globally yet? The system that still has to release in 38 more countries to match the same amount of territories that the PS4 is in...yet has still sold roughly five million units? LOL, that's your definition of desperate?! OK then.

Kunakai
Kunakai

@Faye_Tallity  How did you go from Microsoft selling consoles in China to blatant racism? :o 

lostn
lostn

@brande77 @lostnI don't think you're considering per capita sales. Anything sells "well" when you have 1.3 billion people. When you factor in the population, and the hate for all things jpn and american, they're poor.


As for VW being China owned.. WTF? They have a local plant there, but VW Group is still german. Are you the one that's delusional?


Japanese Automakers Struggle To Realize The 'China Dream':

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stephenharner/2013/12/11/japanese-automakers-struggle-to-realize-the-china-dream/

Japan automakers' China sales continue to struggle:

 http://www.autonews.com/article/20130403/GLOBAL03/130409942/japan-automakers-china-sales-continue-to-struggle

Japanese Carmakers Struggle With History in Chinahttp://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/19/business/global/japanese-carmakers-struggle-with-history-in-china.html

 "BEIJING — A year after their China sales were battered by protests in a territorial dispute, Japan’s big automakers are finding it tough to bounce back in the Chinese market. In particular, they are struggling where demand for cars is rising fastest — in provinces where anti-Japan sentiment historically runs deepest, a legacy of Japanese occupation around World War II."

deathstream
deathstream

@blackace @deathstream  


It wasn't even a big hit.  He put his name in front of it before he ever accomplished anything to earn the distinction, other than being fired from id.

rob9999991
rob9999991

@blackace @Aaronp2k What is wrong with people on here? How on earth can you compare China to Japan??? They are completely different consumer demographics! They also historically and politically hate each other. The US is also the number one status trade partner in China. If any console has a chance to succeed in China it is the X1... mainly in regard to potential political backlash from Chinese consumers who don't hold Japanese products and culture in high regard and there are quite a few of them. I'm not saying Japanese consoles will be completely shunned by gamers in China, just a less received overall.

Tomcat2007
Tomcat2007

@blackace @Aaronp2k  they sold 1.6 million in Japan, a country that is extremely pro-Japanese in their buying patterns and is 1/10th the population size of China, so logically I think 10 million or more sales in China is possible .  And as far as pirating, pirated games may be a problem but pirated consoles will not be since now that the console is legal why will Chinese consumers go through the black market anymore? They don't need to.  There isn't going to be a way to mass produce fake xbox one's at significantly cheaper costs than a real xbox one.  Most of the pure counterfeit hardware for modern consoles involves selling fake controllers and add-ons.  I don't think you find a lot of purely counterfeit made from the ground up fake xbox one's and ps4's on the streets of China.  And if you do, they don't actually play xbox or playstation games they are just lookalikes.  There were a lot of wii lookalikes in china also but most were just very crippled attempts at making a fake version of the original.

curtaseeflush
curtaseeflush

Those 38 more countries are in Europe, where the Xbox sells extremely poorly.

Last Gen Xbox sold poorly in Europe.

Sony dominates Europe and Europe hares Xbox.

But its gonna be just like last gen. Xbone will get release in the rest of europe, sales for Xbone will jump, cause everyone who wants an Xbone will get one in release werk, then sales will drop dramatically again.

Its a repeate of last gen. Except this time MS handed a fair bit of the Xbones consumers over to Sony with that Shocking Announcement, mistreatment of the Consumer by Microsoft PR then bullcrap about The Power of the Cloud increasing Xbones graphical power by 3x.

Also, Xbone hasnt sold 5 Million Console. The sales for Xbone currently are about 4.5 million with that being sold to Retail, not to consumers.

PS4 is at 7million and that is sold to consumer.

The difference is Sony give numbers sold to the Consumer.

Xbone gives numbers sold to retail. So Xbone must be doing pretty bad if MS dont want to announce actuall sales.

MS's killer app, Titanfall has sold 2 million copies on 3 different platforms which is very poor for a game supposed to be sooo great. Just tells ya, who did MS pay off to give Titanfall good reviews when all I hear now is how fast Titanfall gets boring and its limited content and its limited fun factor.

Ps4's Killzone SF is over 2.2 mill in sales with Infamous SS at 1 mill already.

Everything about PS4 is doing better, its got a faster, better and easier to use OS and a better Online Network.

Microsoft so far have been all talk and hype, issue is when it comes time for Microsoft to deliver, they fall very short and people realize again, that Microsoft lied, and it was on purpose.

MS say they will be about games from now on, but history tells us, apart from the Halo, Gears, Fable and Forza developers, Microsoft has a habbit of release a big exclusive, then releasing very very bad Exclusive inbetween. MS have a bad history with creating new IPs, especialy last gen cause I cant think of any new IPs MS had last gen apart from Left 4 Dead, but those were made by valve, not MS.

Romayo83
Romayo83

@VegasDawg @curtaseeflushPS4 is selling more worldwide. I'm in Toronto and have not seen a single PS4 on the shelves of any retail store since launch. X1's are found everywhere so I bought one.


I'll buy PS4 later. When more exclusives are released and a price drop. Both are equal IMO


VegasDawg
VegasDawg

@curtaseeflush  I"m going to assume your not talking to me since I've said none of which you speak, but I must correct some of your ignorance.


X1 is the most successful launch in MS history, selling poorly?  NOT.


PS4 is selling neck and neck with X1 in the U.S. Does that mean the PS4 is selling poorly also? You fanBOYs have very little intelligence.


Infamous is not a killer app. it's a ten hour game that has now fallen off the face of the earth while  most people are still playing TF. TF outsold Infamous even with less consoles on the market.


You know nothing of Japan, they have moved on from consoles and are now into mobile gaming you can expect poor sales forever, but I do think it's cute how you hope. You can however expect the U.S. to follow suit this is why MS is marketing the X1 as more than a gaming machine they are betting on the future while Sony is being short sighted , just look at the company (Sony) as a whole they are losing billions.


FanBOYs like you are just ignorant I don't know why you felt to need to reply with all this BS. Are you proud of being a corporate monkey? Sony is a big boy they can handle things on their own.


curtaseeflush
curtaseeflush

So is the Xbone, its not doing well in its own home country either. Funny cause the PS4 is still in short supply in stores around the USA. Not all stores are but their is still a fair bit in short supply.

The difference is, MS had a so called Killer App, Titanfall that isnt doing anywhere near aswell as expected.

Sony had Infamous but not once did they talk the game up as a killer app.

In Japan the PS4 is selling how it is cause of the lack of games.

From what I can remember, PS3 had the same issue.

When the PS3 had any period of time where their was no new releases in Japan, sales for the PS3 would drop big time. Then have a Massive jump in sales when games got released.

Funny thing is Sony have allready said they have Alot of games in Development for the Japanese market.

So expect big sales for Japan soon.

But very ironic you say what you do about PS4 then completely forget the desperate position MS are in.

deathstream
deathstream

@blackace @deathstream  


Otherlands managed to scrape out Kickstarter funding after his first attempt failed.


Alice got decent reviews, but wasn't a big hit.  I don't have exact numbers but I started seeing it in bargain bins pretty quickly.  It wasn't Daikatana, but it wasn't a breakout hit either.

blackace
blackace

@deathstream @blackaceHe's now working on Alice: Otherlands

I don't know how many copies he sold of American McGee's Alice, but it did receive some favorable reviews. The sequel "Alice: Return to Madness did worse. Other games like Scrapland and Bad Day L.A. was just crap.