With the government freeing up the ability for Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo to start offering their consoles to consumers, China could become a significant source of revenue for the games biz the way the country has impacted the film industry.
That includes not just hardware manufacturers but gamemakers, as well.
Up until now, publishers like Activision have been able to build businesses in China by turning to Internet cafes and offering versions of “Call of Duty” for online play. Without consoles, Chinese consumers have largely relied on their smartphones for entertainment, and that could pose an issue for Microsoft considering its Xbox One will be priced at around $700 with the Kinect motion sensing controller, and $300 without it.
Consoles had been banned because of government concerns over the impact games have on children.
In the Spring, Microsoft announced Sept 23 as the launch date for the Xbox One but had to switch to Sept 29 in order to get the greenlight from the Chinese government for the first 10 games to be offered on the system — titles like “Forza Motorsport,” “Zoo Tycoon” and “Naughty Kitties.” Additional games and entertainment apps will launch on the platform in the weeks and months to come, Microsoft said.
Xbox has plans to develop around 70 titles with Chinese gamemaker BestTV New Media through a joint venture.