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Microsoft's Xbox One beats Sony's PS4 to the punch with China launch after 14-year console ban u-turn


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

September 29, 2014 | 3 min read

Microsoft’s Xbox One has become the first games console to be released into the lucrative Chinese market beating rivals Nintendo and Sony to the punch.

Xbox One will go on sale initially for £430

The US console will be first sold in Shanghai for a price of 4,299 yuan (£430) to a receptive Chinese audience which has not seen a mainstream video games console for the last 14 years - at least outside of the black market.

This comes after China gave the green light to games companies in January this year after reserving the right to censor the games which can be release in the region.

The console, which burned a £238m hole in Microsoft’s revenue after a lacklustre launch, will gain momentum by being the first major console to crack the sizeable Chinese market.

On its release, only ten games will be available for purchase due to the nation banning violent titles such as Call of Duty and Destiny.

However, educational titles such as Microsoft’s newly acquired Minecraft, which it snapped up for $2.5bn from Swedish firm Mojang, will by-pass the censors.

Piers Harding-Rolls, a games analyst from IHS, told the BBC that Microsoft will have a hard-time combating games piracy which is rife in the region due to consoles being outlawed.

He also added that Microsoft may not have the content initially to connect with Chinese audiences.

The US games console still has a lot of work to do to catch up with Sony’s PS4 however, after the Japanese firm earlier this year announced that it had shipped a record-breaking 10 million consoles in the nine months after it was released.

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