Xbox One becomes first foreign games console released in China since 2000

29 Sep 2014

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The Shanghai, China, skyline

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Gamers in China have descended on electronic stores all over the country after the Xbox One today become the first foreign games console released in China in 14 years.

Originally slated to hit shelves on 23 September, Microsoft last week delayed the machine's release after admitting pre-orders had been “beyond our expectations”. The postponement was short lived, however, and consumers can now pick up their Xbox One from 4,000 retail locations in 37 cities.

A ban on foreign-made gaming machines came into force in 2000 following parental outcry surrounding the potential mental-health effects of gaming on children. By becoming the first console released since the ban was lifted, Microsoft has stolen a march on Sony’s PlayStation 4 in a potentially huge new market.

“This milestone is significant for both our partnership with China and our global expansion plan. Every new market launch is unique and we’re grateful to our fans for their patience and enthusiasm,” said Phil Spencer, head of Xbox.

To mark the release, buildings across the Shanghai skyline were decorated with images of the Xbox and its logo. Meanwhile, pictures of long queues have been snapped as fans line-up to get their hands on the console. GeekWire reported one enthusiastic gamer screaming, “I finally get to play!”

Ten government-approved games are available for the Xbox One in China, including Rayman Legends and Max: The Curse of Brotherhood.

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Dean is a freelance journalist and editor covering media.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com