Microsoft’s Xbox One officially launches in China today, and if early pictures of the event are any indication, the launch appears to have gone well.
Today’s console launch marks the first time since the lifting of a 14 year ban on video game consoles on January 6th, 2014, that a console has released in China. Interestingly, the last console to officially launch in China was the PlayStation 2, which somehow managed to launch briefly in two Chinese cities in 2004 in spite of the ban, although it was only available until 2005. The Xbox One, however, launched in 4,000 retail locations across 37 cities, according to Xbox Wire.
Originally scheduled to launch on September 23rd, the Xbox One was delayed for six days until the 29th of September, for reasons that remain unclear, although some speculated the delay was related to the Communist country’s red tape after Apple’s iPhone 6 suffered a delay in China as well. The Kinect-less version of the console in China is priced at 3,699 yaun, which translates into roughly 600 USD. Although the Chinese will be paying a premium for their console versus North American markets, Chinese Xbox Ones include a full two-year warranty, six months of Xbox Live Gold, as well as two pack-in games, Powerstar Golf and Neverwinter Online.
Pictures of the Xbox One’s launch across China appear to show the console well on its way to selling Microsoft’s first-quarter estimates of 100,000 units. Chinese professional League of Legends players, Caomei and Weixiao were on hand at a Microsoft Store in China to interact with fans for the event, and in other pictures, Microsoft Store employees were shown greeting lines of customers before the store opened.
Certainly, it appears that the Xbox One launch in China has been met with more excitement than its dismal launch in Japan earlier this month. Keep in mind, however, that these are only a handful of pictures from a couple of Microsoft Stores in China, and may not be an accurate representation of first-day sales across all retailers. Time will tell whether exactly how well the console fared, so stay tuned to TechRaptor for actual numbers as information becomes available in the following days.