Xbox One Launching In China September 23, Costs $600; Some Launch Titles and More Details Revealed
The Xbox One is the first gaming console approved for sale in China through the new Shanghai Free Trade Zone.
[UPDATE] Representatives for 2K Games and Electronic Arts declined to comment on what games they are bringing to Xbox One in China. Ubisoft, on the other hand, confirmed that Trials Fusion, Rayman Legends, Just Dance 2014, and Shape Up will be available for Xbox One at launch in China.
"Ubisoft has been present in China for 17 years, and we place great importance on understanding Chinese players and the kinds of games they want to play," Ubisoft executive publishing director for China, Stephanie Perotti, said in a statement to GameSpot. "We are delighted to partner with Microsoft to bring some of our major franchises to the Xbox One for our Chinese fans."
The original story is below.
Just days after preorders opened for the console, Microsoft today announced that the Xbox One will launch in China on September 23. The system will be available in a 3699 RMB ($600) bundle that includes a system (it is unclear if Kinect is included) and copies of Powerstar Golf and Neverwinter Online, as well as free access to Xbox Live Gold through March 2015.
In addition, this bundle will include a localized Chinese interface with local payment options, a two-year warranty, and access to the BesTV entertainment experience, Microsoft said. BesTV is a major Chinese media company serving as Microsoft's partner in bringing the Xbox One to China.
A special 4299 RMB ($700) Xbox One Day One edition will also be available in China at launch. It includes the system, a Kinect camera, a commemorative controller, and a day one achievement for your Xbox Live profile. The bundle also includes copies of Kinect Sports Rivals, Forza Motorsport 5: Racing Game of the Year, Neverwinter Online Commemorative Edition, and Powerstar Golf with some in-game credit.
Xbox One owners in China will also have access BesTV programming, including two free movies per month. Sports programming (such as the English Premier League) will also be available--free for the first year. In addition, the full Xbox Fitness library will come to Xbox One in China, along with a new experience, Tai Chi, which will be first available in China. Special local apps, including QQ Music, Douban FM, GameFY, and Karaoke Master, are also headed to Xbox One in China.
The Xbox One is the first gaming console approved for sale in China through the new Shanghai Free Trade Zone. For the past decade and a half, consoles were blocked from sale in China over fears that such systems posed a threat to the mental health of children. Microsoft isn't the only major platform holder eyeing the Chinese market, as Sony said earlier this year that it also has plans to bring its PlayStation brand to China, though details are not yet finalized.
According to Microsoft, there will be a "rich lineup" of Xbox One games for sale in China, ranging from free-to-play offerings to blockbuster titles. Games will range in price from 99 RMB ($16) to 249 RMB ($40), Microsoft said. Microsoft's launch lineup for the Xbox One in China includes the following:
- Forza Motorsport 5: Racing Game of the Year
- Kinect Sports Rivals
- Powerstar Golf
- Zoo Tycoon
- Max: The Curse of Brotherhood
In terms of third-party support, Microsoft said 12 of the "world's largest developers" are planning to release games in China for Xbox One. Some of these companies include Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, and 2K Games, though specific titles from these publishers were not named. We have reached out to those companies for comment.
There will also be Xbox One content from Chinese developers, Microsoft said. Thirteen of China's "best developers" are currently working to bring new IP and "fan-favorite" games to Xbox One, beginning with Neverwinter Online from Perfect World, as well as titles from Gamebar and Yingpei Games. Snail Games, NetEase, and Tencent are also building games for Xbox One.
"We are excited and honored to be among the first publishers in China bringing games to Xbox One," Perfect World CEO Robert Xiao said in a statement. "We have three studios working on Xbox games including Neverwinter Online, Celestial Sword, and Project X and we can't wait for Xbox fans in China to get their hands on them. For the six months following Xbox One's launch, Neverwinter Online will be available only on Xbox One. Offering unlimited possibilities to developers, the launch of Xbox One in China will help take the game development industry to a whole new level."
Earlier this year, the Chinese government published a list of censorship rules for console games. For example, any game that "threaten China's national unity, sovereignty or territorial integrity" would be banned. It is unclear if the games mentioned in this post, or other upcoming games, will need to be censored to comply with these rules.
Microsoft's independent publishing label, ID@Xbox, will also be available for Chinese developers. This program officially launches in China today. Its arrival also means developers around the world can now publish their games in China.
Further still, Microsoft today announced plans to open two "innovation centers" in China, the first of which will be located in Shanghai. "These innovation centers will be dedicated spaces driving local innovation initiatives in game and app development supporting entertainment content, original design and research and development in China," Microsoft said in a statement. "They will provide access to some of the world’s top innovators, helping to accelerate entertainment content industry growth in China, to foster the creation of a world-class team and human capital, and expand local original content to the world. They will be built on continuing investments from the government and Microsoft."