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January 15, 2007

Microsoft to launch Xbox 360 in China?

Posted by David Hunter at 8:48 AM ET.

Microsoft is testing the waters for an Xbox 360 launch in China according to Sophie Taylor and George Chen at Reuters:

Microsoft Corp. is set to launch its popular Xbox 360 console in China in the next few months, expanding beyond its traditional focus on selling PC software in the country, industry sources said.

The software giant has been discussing the launch with local Internet service providers and personal computer makers since late last year, and plans to appoint several sales agents for Xbox 360 in the mainland, sources in the consumer technology sector said.

Microsoft is also checking with the Chinese government, including the culture and information ministries, that authorities are comfortable with the product, the sources said.

The government reviews the content of video games sold in China and has been cautious about approving the sale of imported games, so its stance may be the main factor determining when Xbox 360 sales begin.

Aside from the government, there are also the language and cultural differences (e.g. Xbox 360 in Japan), not to mention the the question of widespread availability of spare income in Chinese households for videogaming. Look at it this way: If it were low hanging fruit, Microsoft would already have grabbed it.

Filed under General Business, Governmental Relations, Microsoft, Xbox

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