Xbox One coming to China this September

Microsoft announced today that it plans on releasing the Xbox One in China this September.

Microsoft’s corporate VP of marketing and strategy for devices and studios, Yusuf Mehdi, wrote in a statement, “Launching Xbox One in China is a significant milestone for us and for the industry, and it’s a step forward in our vision to deliver the best games and entertainment experiences to more fans around the world.”

This will make the Xbox One the “first-ever game console with OTT functionality in China.” OTT in this sense refers to over-the-top content, which is content delivered over the Internet (like movies on Netflix) where the ISP is only responsible for transferring data and not controlling the media transmitted.

The announcement follows the relaxation of China’s 14-year ban on video game consoles. China also recently disclosed their console games censorship rules, noting that games will not be allowed to promote drug use or violence. And statistics released at the Games Marketing Summit earlier this month revelead that China is a large potential market where the number of gamers surpasses the total population of the US.

Microsoft formed the joint venture company E-Home Entertainment with BesTV in September last year to release a streaming console, and Enwei Xie will head up Xbox China as the group’s general manager.

Regarding the partnership, Dazhong Zhang, senior VP of SMG and chairman of E-Home Entertainment wrote, “Via our cooperation with the world’s leading team, we will continue to develop video games fused with Chinese culture and provide further distribution support for locally produced Chinese video game content to the world.”

“Our joint venture is committed to providing opportunities for creators to unleash their imaginations for games, online education and fitness experiences for China and beyond,” wrote Medhi in a further update. “As part of our partnership, E-Home Entertainment is investing to establish an innovation program that will enable creators and developers to build, publish, and sell their games on Xbox One in China and in other markets where Xbox is available.”

Xbox announced earlier this year that they have shipped 5 million Xbox Ones across the 13 countries where the console is available, which “represents more than 60 percent greater sales than Xbox 360 in the same time period.” By September, the Xbox One will be available in 42 countries.

Justin Haywald is a senior editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @JustinHaywald

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