The Xbox One will launch in China on Sept. 23, Microsoft announced today.
The hardware — the first game console approved for sale within China's Free Trade Zone in Shanghai — will cost 3,699 Chinese yuan (approximately $599.35). Pre-orders in the territory are available now through Microsoft and regional partner BesTV.
Games for the Xbox One in China will cost between 99 and 249 yuan. On day one, the console will launch in China with Forza Motorsport 5, Kinect Sports Rivals, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, Powerstar Golf and Zoo Tycoon, among others. Games slated to launch in China later this year include Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Sunset Overdrive. Publishers including 2K, EA and Ubisoft have also pledged to bring their games to China in the future.
China's ban on the sale of video game consoles was lifted last September with the creation of the Free Trade Zone in Shanghai, where foreign-funded companies could sell their hardware. In April, the zone's regulations were officially set, ending the 14-year ban.
Thirteen China-based developers are already working to bring their own content to the Xbox One, beginning with Perfect World Entertainment's Neverwinter Online and titles from Gamebar and Yinpei Games, with more coming from NetEast, Snail Games and Tencent down the line.
In addition to a handful of games, the Xbox One will launch in China with Xbox Live, subscriptions to which will be available for 199 yuan, as well as TV, movie, sports, Xbox Fitness and other entertainment apps.
Alongside the announcement of the Xbox One launch, Microsoft launched a China-based branch of the ID@Xbox program, in which the company will nurture Chinese indie developers and help them bring their content to Xbox One worldwide. This new branch of the program will also open the door for more international developers to bring their video games to China.
Every Xbox One at launch will come bundled with a copy of Powerstar Golf and a Neverwinter Online Special Edition Pack, as well as the BesTV entertainment app, free access to Xbox Live until March 2015, a two-year warranty and a completely localized interface and content in Chinese.
Microsoft and BesTV will also offer a 4,299 yuan limited-run Day One edition, which comes bundles with the Kinect, a limited-edition commemorative China Day One controller, Day One Achievement, Kinect Sports Rivals, Forza Motorsport 5: Racing Game of the Year, Powerstar Golf with in-game credits and a Neverwinter Online Commemorative Edition Pack.