In partnership with BesTV New Media Co., which will help manufacture the Xbox One in Shanghai’s Free Trade Zone, Microsoft will sell the console for 3,699 yuan (about $600) without the Kinect camera, and for 4,299 yuan ($700) with the Kinect. That’s $200 more than what it sells for in the U.S.
The Xbox One will be the first foreign console available in China since 2000, when the country banned foreign-made gaming machines due to potential mental health effects for children.
The relaxation of the ban has been seen as a potential economic boon to Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Sony announced in May that it would establish a joint venture with Shanghai Oriental Pearl (Group) Co. to start manufacturing and selling Playstation hardware and software in China, but it’s unclear when the PS4 will be available in China.
Perhaps the head start for Microsoft will help the company catch up to Sony, which has outsold the Xbox One with its PS4 both globally and in the U.S. Back in May, Microsoft noted more than 5 million Xbox One’s shipped to retailers worldwide. That was more than 2 million behind Sony, which reported more than 7 million PS4s sold to consumers — not just retailers — worldwide.
In addition, the PS4 has outsold the Xbox One in the U.S. for the past six months. That includes June, despite the fact that Microsoft doubled its Xbox One sales last month after it began selling a $399 version of the Xbox One without the Kinect sensor on June 9 — a $100 price cut from the Xbox One with Kinect.
Meanwhile in China, Microsoft is under investigation by the Chinese government over antimonopoly laws.