China's Xbox One sales slow despite breaking console embargo first


By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

October 15, 2014 | 3 min read

Microsoft’s flagship gaming console, the Xbox One, has only sold 100,000 units in China, despite it being the first console to be sold in the nation following a 14-year ban on gaming devices.

The Xbox One is retailing for 4,299 Yuan

Despite beating rivals, the Sony Playstation 4 and Nintendo’s Wii U into China, Zhang Dazhong, the chairman of E-Home Entertainment Development Company which promotes the Xbox One in China, estimated that only 100,000 models have been shifted, according to Business Insider.

The console, which finally surpassed the Playstation 4 in US sales during September, has struggled in the new market, since it launched in China two weeks ago on 29 September.

The slow uptake has been attributed to several issues. The Chinese state has prohibited the release of games featuring violence of any form, dropping studios with titles that can be published from 25 to ten.

As China has been deprived of gaming consoles for almost a decade and a half, the culture has recently been reliant upon mobile gaming, with the country regarded as the world’s biggest smartphone market. Furthermore, the Xbox One retails for 4,299 Yuan, almost a fifth more expensive than other Asian countries.

Analysts have claimed that demand may increase as the culture adapts to console gaming but it may be the case that many consumers already own the Xbox One as a result of the black market working around the gaming ban.

The future remains bright however, as the Chinese state looks more kindly towards educational titles, Microsoft’s $2.5bn takeover of Minecraft-developer Mojang, may provide vital in raising the Xbox One’s profile in the region.

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