The Xbox One will go on sale in China on Sept. 29, making it the first gaming console in 14 years to be sold through official channels there, Microsoft and media partner BesTV announced today.
Microsoft and BesTV had originally planned to launch the Xbox One in China today, but announced a delay yesterday, citing a need for "a bit more time to deliver the best experiences possible for our fans." The Xbox One will be available at more than 4,000 stores in 37 cities across China. The console with Kinect will cost 4,299 yuan ($700.17), while the stand-alone system will sell for 3,699 yuan ($602.45). It comes with a two-year warranty, and Xbox Live Gold access is free through March 2015.
The Xbox One's Chinese launch will be accompanied by a list of 10 games, all of which will be available digitally through the Xbox Games Store. Disc-based versions of the titles will be released at some point after the launch. The launch lineup consists of Dance Central Spotlight, Forza Motorsport 5, Kinect Sports Rivals, Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, Naughty Kitties (from Coconut Island, a Chinese ID@Xbox developer), Neverwinter Online, Powerstar Golf, Rayman Legends, Trials Fusion and Zoo Tycoon.
Those 10 games have been approved for release by the Chinese government, and according to Microsoft, more than 70 other titles are "in the pipeline for approval," such as Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Killer Instinct. Xbox One apps available at launch include Game DVR and Skype, with a BesTV app for video content coming soon.
"This milestone is significant for both our partnership with China and our global expansion plan," said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, in a press release today. "We will continue to work closely with our partner BesTV to bring exciting games, entertainment and app experiences to delight gamers across China."
"China has celebrated gaming for many years and there couldn't be a better way to celebrate the one year anniversary of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone than to deliver the first approved console to our fans," said Zhang Dazhong, senior vice president of Shanghai Media Group, the parent company of BesTV.
Earlier this year, China lifted a nearly 14-year ban on the production and sale of video game consoles inside the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, paving the way for Microsoft to bring the Xbox One to the country. Sony later said it also aims to enter the video game business in China, but has yet to announce details or timing. Nintendo hasn't announced any specific plans for the market.