Microsoft aligns with Chinese company for new games device

Xbox maker forms joint venture with Shanghai media behemoth BestTV to release streaming device in China.

Microsoft and Shanghai media giant BesTV have formed a joint venture to launch a new games device that will offer streaming entertainment services in China, it has been announced.

In a note posted on the Shanghai Stock Exchange (via Polygon), both companies detailed the "family games and related services" initiative--E-Home Entertainment Development--which will be supported by an initial investment of $237 million.

Chinese media reports, which have not been confirmed, claim the new partnership will result in a console based on Xbox technology and called "Bestpad." BesTV is a leading Internet and television provider in China. It also manufactures and sells smart TVs.

This news follows China's recent decision to end its 13-year console ban. Under the terms of the decision, game consoles can be sold in China so long as they are made in Shanghai's new free-trade zone and approved by "culture-related authorities."

This new venture is expected to be registered in this newly established free-trade zone.

"This is the first step of many to come for Microsoft and BesTV," a Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon. "We look forward to exploring new opportunities for bringing entertainment offerings to China, but we have no further details to share."

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

72 comments
Carl Toolan
Carl Toolan

do asia even recognise M$ as a company in existance?

phbz
phbz

Smart move from MS. China has some cultural resistance to Japanese products and it´s a huge HUGE emerging market. Going with a console based on the 360 it´s the smart thing to do. First because the price range is more fitting to that market, second because it minimizes the investment. But they better sandbag it against piracy, or the will just be trowing money out of the window. 

blue_shift_91
blue_shift_91

wow. if MS really breaks into China's new market, Sony just might be in trouble.

randomkidlol
randomkidlol

The only thing that will sell is the hardware. Followed by promptly bringing the console into a guy that will crack it for him, and let them play pirated software.

deadpen
deadpen

Thank god Chinese kids will finally get to play with something they made

soulless4now
soulless4now

I don't know what to say...hooray? I don't care? Trolol M$?

Eh, I think I'll go with "that's interesting."

hystavito
hystavito

"This news follows China's recent decision to end its 13-year console ban."  I hadn't heard that the decision was made to end the ban, so I clicked through to the previous GS article from July.

I had read that article, I remember it, but it only says they MAY end the ban, that they were "holding discussions to consider ending the ban".  Anyway a quick Google search indicates they are ending it.

Jak Gibberish
Jak Gibberish

*Microsoft money making scam activate...... Microsoft China invasion set. Bill Gates Plasma cannons locked*

mischiefmeerkat
mischiefmeerkat

They're hoping the chinese will be easier to bend over and screw than the americans are =>

brxricano
brxricano

FACEFOOKERS!!! OPEN FIRE!!!!!!!!!

FULGOREY2K
FULGOREY2K

hurrah for kids slavery on chinese sweat shops

Draziak Demon King Durst
Draziak Demon King Durst

Is this like the PS Vita TV Sony are releasing to which is similar to Apple TV? innovation at its finest everybody... *he says sarcastically*

atopp399
atopp399

I bet the NSA is just giddy about this. 

Toplinkar
Toplinkar

So, they will sell the Xbox One in China. Good for them, but I do wonder how much can be tweaked, consoles are a fixed platform (for better and for worse) so this new thing can't be different. I suppose it will be adapted to work in chinese and that will be it.

Side note: Xbox One sounds like a terrific name compared to Bestpad. 

somatzu
somatzu

both of these companies should screw off

sanagames22
sanagames22

ok china ,upgrade xbox one 12gb ram...okkkkkkkkkkk

Monsterkillah
Monsterkillah

I want to see some chinese game on my xbox One

should be nice :)

pyro1245
pyro1245

oh sick! china got over its console ban.

Halloll
Halloll

so it's called the Xbox One because it will be the first Xbox in China?
 even though they were all made there.

angryguy77
angryguy77

I can see the new GTA: Chicom Edition. Instead of  a criminal, you play as a communist party op who hunts down enemies of the party. Get 1000 GS, and the special "Tienanmen Square" crackdown mode is unlocked.

AdderD
AdderD

They should call it, "the xQue."

DomZeal
DomZeal

Some facts: 1) This "official ban" is political, not practical. People can easily buy a x360 or ps3 in China, and connect to Asia psn or xblive server. The ping is about 150ms, basically playable. 2) Sony PS3 is still the best-selling console in China, firstly because PS brand once was the symbol of console gaming in China, people are more familiar with it. Then, the Asian design style of PS3, like smaller controller, prettier console design, has more attraction to Chinese than American-style X360.

ahmad1080
ahmad1080

My God where do you get all that hate from !!!

plaintomato
plaintomato

Considering how much the Chinese hate the Japanese, the Chinese market opening up to consoles could be a really bad thing for Sony in their battle against MS. Or not. But it does seem like in everything from sports to technology, other country's populations seem more nationalistic than Americans about where they throw their support.

berserker66666
berserker66666

So the NSA's gonna spy on China now? Call the UN. This means war!!!

Gamerhomer
Gamerhomer

Maybe after the ban MS are shatting their pants that the Chinese will naturally go for the PS4... :O    "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Typical MS tho scrambling to get to the free trade zone... LOL

Katz
Katz

It'll be called The Xbox Oneness

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Chinese Xbox. Well at least Microsoft is trying. But what games would China allow?

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

Someone's afraid of steambox.

mr_nee
mr_nee

@blue_shift_91 I have a neightbour -- we always compete for who has the best yard. I just bought an apartment in Malta -- thousands of miles away from my home. Is my neightbour in trouble now? No.

Why would MS activities in uncontested market put Sony in trouble? MS will have more money? Do you think MS has insufficient money now? What if BestPad project fails (there's a huge probability for that)? Will MS go bankrupt?

I just don't get your point

pyro1245
pyro1245

@AdderD Heh MS should make it a handheld console just for fun

MAGIC-KINECT
MAGIC-KINECT

@Sl4cka naaaa...nobody except steambots are interested in that. Dual boot OS to play games on TV or projector? Lame.

blue_shift_91
blue_shift_91

@mr_nee @blue_shift_91 

yes, it could fail. hence the "if" qualifier in my comment. the point is that sony has been in decline for the past decade. they are in deep, and will likely be stuck there until the whole company comes together and takes things in a new direction, regardless of how well the ps4 sells.

and microsoft is looking at huge market potential in a country which, coincidentally, has a pretty deep history of anti-japanese sentiment. tapping into huge market means more sales. more sales means more profits and bigger audience. bigger audience means more incentive to support the console (devs included). more support means more content. more content means more incentive to lower console prices, and rake in profits from content sales. etc. and ALL that translates into an uphill battle for sony.

your "neighbor" analogy doesn't really apply in business.

mr_nee
mr_nee

@blue_shift_91 My xbot detector just went offchart.

FYI: The components of the PS4 will be made in China, Czech Republic, Japan, California, Brazil and Mexico.

blue_shift_91
blue_shift_91

@mr_nee 

whatever you say, kiddo.

out of all those places, only japan and california heavily enforce labor laws. hell, there are still sweatshops in california, believe it or not. and guess what. none of em prove MS and Sony are running their business on the blood of children. and none of em somehow make chinese sweatshops any worse than mexican or brazilian sweatshops.