Microsoft could help end a 13 year ban on foreign game consoles in China

Microsoft may be close to officially ending a ban in China that has prevented foreign-developed game consoles like Microsoft's own Xbox models from being sold in that country. This week, Microsoft announced a new partnership with China-based BesTV New Media that will form a new gaming subsidiary.

According to Bloomberg, the new venture will see Microsoft take a 49 percent stake in the $79 million company, with BesTV taking the remaining 51 percent. Officially, the two companies claim this new subsidiary will develop both games and game related projects, but specifics were not announced. It will operate in what is considered a free trade zone in the city of Shanghai, which is expected to open on October 1.

Polygon reports, via unconfirmed Chinese sources, that one of the products of this Microsoft-BesTV collaboration will be a game console made just for the China market. The report claims it will be based on Xbox technology but will be called Bestpad when it is released.

So far, there's been no indication that Sony and Nintendo have any plans to sell their respective consoles in the Shanghai free trade zone, which could mean Microsoft might have an edge in selling such a product in the country with the largest population.

Source: Bloomberg
China flag via Shutterstock

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lol. i like how the ant-boys get all excited. until they realized they are expected to see lots of china-oriented / -flavored games in the future. because they are simply not the game developers' main market anymore. just like hollywood movies.

waiting for all the wailing and moaning to commence ...

Wouldn't be for a good while even if they could get it lifted, given the time needed for translations along with voice recognition to work and function properly. They'd also have to determine what sort of demand to meet. Considering how late some countries got the 360 alone, I wouldn't hold my breath.

i wonder what kind of new chinese console would appear after the china successfully reverse engineer the xbone console to the bone. ?

Torolol said,
i wonder what kind of new chinese console would appear after the china successfully reverse engineer the xbone console to the bone. ?

You think they'd managed to fully reverse engineer the xbox one?
No. Xbox 360 development kits were sent to child to be 'destroyed' and the vast majority turned up online fixed, all they'd managed to do is take various parts from different models to make a single working model and sell it.

Drewidian said,
This could be huge since it appears that the Japanese consoles wouldn't do as well there due to historic issues.

Agreed. I think people are underestimating just what this will mean - if it succeeds. While Xbox 360 is banned in China it's quite easy to pick up a "modded" version. These play pirated games which usually cost RMB5 (USD 0.80/ GBP 0.50). If/when the Chinese crack the Xbone and start modding it, how will a legit version be able to compete with these prices? The price of legit games will need to plummet or it will fail. If game prices drop in China that will have a knock-on effect globally.