Xbox One Gets New Release Date In China After Eleventh-Hour Delay
Microsoft to release latest console in China on September 29; launch titles include Forza 5 and Dance Central Spotlight.
Following a last-minute delay, Microsoft announced on Tuesday that the Xbox One will launch in China on September 29. The console was previously scheduled to arrive on September 23, but Microsoft said in a statement Friday evening that it needed "a bit more time" to get the console ready for release.
Microsoft noted in its announcement that the Xbox One represents the first console to launch in mainland China in 14 years. The nation banned consoles in 2000, saying they could adversely affect the health and mental development of children. This ban was lifted last year.
Xbox One fans in China can choose from 10 games at launch, including Forza Motorsport 5, Kinect Sports Rivals, Powerstar Golf, Zoo Tycoon, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, Dance Central Spotlight, Neverwinter Online, Rayman Legends, Trials Fusion, and Naughty Kitties.
Console games in China must receive approval from Shanghai's local culture department, which will examine games to make sure they do not harm China's culture and traditions or promote violence or drugs. Microsoft says the first batch of 10 games were approved by China's culture department, though it remains to be seen if these games were edited in any way.
"This milestone is significant for both our partnership with China and our global expansion plan. Every new market launch is unique and we're grateful to our fans for their patience and enthusiasm throughout the process," Xbox boss Phil Spencer said in a statement.
In China, the Xbox One costs RMB 3,699 ($602) without Kinect and RMB 4,299 ($700) with Kinect.
China is a potentially lucrative market for Microsoft and the Xbox One. A recent study found that the number of gamers in China now exceeds the total United States population, which is around 300 million people.
Not surprisingly, other major game companies have also announced plans to bring their consoles to China. Sony plans to introduce PlayStation systems to China, while Ouya is also bringing in Android-powered micro-console to the country.
September has been a major growth month for the Xbox One. By the time the month is out, the system will have launched in 28 new markets, including major regions like Japan, China, Russia, and South Africa, among others.
Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch