Today, Microsoft and a Chinese state-owned telecommunications company officially struck a deal that will allow the Xbox One to be sold in mainland China. This marks the first time a game console will be available in the country since 2000, when the government implemented a ban on them.
China Telecom Corporation will begin selling the console in September. It has signed an exclusive contract with Microsoft, Reuters reported today. As a result, the console will be offered to China Telecom's 30 million subscribers. It may be offered to the general public, as well, according to a Microsoft statement to Reuters. "When Xbox One launches in September, in addition to the China Telecom consumer offer, it will also be available to the general public for purchase at retail," a Microsoft spokesperson explained. We have reached out to Microsoft for clarification.
The two companies have not yet announced a price for the system.
This follows last year's news that China had lifted the ban on the sale of consoles. At that time, Microsoft announced that it had entered into a partnership with Chinese television company BesTV to manufacture the Xbox One in the newly-formed Shanghai Free Trade Zone. In April, Microsoft revealed that the Xbox would go on sale in China this September.
Since they were released last November, the PS4 has been outselling the Xbox One in the United States as well as worldwide. In June, we learned that the PS4 was the best-selling console in the U.S. despite a cheaper, Kinect-less Xbox One being sold. It will be interesting to see if the Xbox One can gain ground when it launches in China this fall. Recently, a study found that there are over 500 million gamers in the country.
|Alex Newhouse is an editorial intern at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @alexbnewhouse|
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