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Xbox One's high price in China draws complaints, but likely buyers too

Michael Kan | Aug. 1, 2014
Microsoft's Xbox One is poised to be the first foreign game console to debut in China, but as the local pricing was announced on Wednesday, would-be customers made their displeasure known online.

It also helps that Microsoft is offering pre-orders for the Xbox One through JD.com, one of the country's largest online retailers. Chinese gamer Wang Jielin predicted the Xbox One will sell very well, because Microsoft can readily make it available across the country.

"The Chinese version will largely be perfectly localized for consumers, so this should appeal to many gamers," he said. "Even casual gamers will look forward to it."

Wang, however, doesn't plan on buying the mainland China edition Xbox One, but one from Hong Kong. He's worried that the Chinese government will restrict games rated for those 18 and older from being played on the local console.

It's unclear if the mainland China edition Xbox One will let users play titles from other regions. But games offered domestically must be submitted to Chinese regulators for approval, which could mean that more violent titles are banned or toned down in some way.

Xue Yongfeng, an analyst with Beijing-based Analysys International, said even though the Xbox One's price in China is high, it will still be attractive to its core audience of hardcore gamers.

Beijing's gray market video game dealers are hoping their businesses will remain lucrative, despite Microsoft's entrance in the market. "If Microsoft is forced to put a lot of restrictions on the games, then sales will be weaker," said one dealer, who didn't wish to be named. "We'll have to wait and see if Microsoft can put out a good product."

Sony is also planning on launching its PlayStation 4 in China, but has yet to announce a release date.

 

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