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Microsoft Readies 360 Launch For China

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the getting-out-of-hong-kong dept.

XBox (Games) 38

The Xbox 360 was launched in Hong Kong in November of 2005, but the system is not officially part of the Chinese gaming market. Microsoft aims to change that this year, pending approval from the Chinese government. Gamasutra has the details on the deal, which will receive intense scrutiny from the country's culture ministry. From the article: "Looking to China specifically, the report notes that Microsoft has begun working with Chinese internet service providers and computer manufactures regarding the impending launch, and also plans to hire personnel to handle sales activities concerning the Xbox 360 on the Chinese mainland, though a specific time frame for these future hires remains as unknown as the launch itself. Likewise, a price has yet to be confirmed for the console as well, though the Xbox 360 sells for HK$2,329 ($300) in Hong Kong."

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Whoosh... (-1, Troll)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643510)

I had no idea that the XBox 360 wasn't selling so well that Microsoft had to go to China to find customers. I thought Sony would do that first.

Re:Whoosh... (1)

chowdy (992689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643570)

Sony [vgcharts.org] needs it more than Microsoft [nexgenwars.com]

Sony to miss FY PlayStation 3 sales goal by 25% (1)

CK2004PA (827615) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647034)

From this press release http://www.vgcharts.org/news.php?id=58 [vgcharts.org] it does not look good for Sony. Released about 60 days ago and these units, with massive supply problems, sit on shelves? Sorry fan boys!

However, he continued, "The PlayStation brand doesn't appear to be helping the PS3. If NPD's numbers are correct, there are over 300K PS3s on retail shelves. That is not good for a console launch of only a million and it's not good for publishers with PS3 software."

Re:Sony to miss FY PlayStation 3 sales goal by 25% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17651052)

I love how you're calling OTHER people fanboys when you're the one posting completely unrelated anti-PS3 information in a 360 article.

Hello, Mr. Pot? Yeah, this is Mrs. Kettle. I want my black back.

Re:Sony to miss FY PlayStation 3 sales goal by 25% (1)

CK2004PA (827615) | more than 7 years ago | (#17653312)

Um, read the article, read first post, then read my reply. I'll wait....

OK, you will see I am replying to an obvious troll or Sony fan boy who is posting an obvious lie about the 360. I reply with actual data, that I linked to, showing that he is wrong (360 is beating the PS3 heavily). What don't you get ? Just mod me informative and move along :)

Is it that hard for Sony fan boys to accept that the PS3 is the next Dreamcast ? Decent hardware, but developers don't write games for it, because no one buys it, and it gets worse from there ? Deal with it bub, I know you just flushed $900 down the toilet, but maybe you can sell it on eBay and make some back ?

Chinese Cloned it first. (3, Funny)

Gabrill (556503) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643566)

Unfortunately, the Chinese had already introduced a working clone of the XBox 360, and the Microsoft branded one was seen as a poor quality fake. The Chinese version had dna inserted to make it glow in the dark.

This has gotta be a hard sell (1)

ihatewinXP (638000) | more than 7 years ago | (#17644964)

The online potential of so many people really is big enough to get Microsoft into a territory where they had copied games the week after it came out.

I live in Beijing and before I ever saw a system they had the games copied and on sale for a dollar fifty. Now they are down to a dollar. No one will 'buy' a game - but xbox live accounts are a different matter. I guess in this case Microsoft has nothing to lose as they at least get the hardware sale which should be turning a profit by now plus a subscription in some cases. Its an interesting business decision - I guess this would make them the first entrant into the Chinese video game market while it was still viable like... ever. Ninendo sells some funky controller N64 based thing with games built in in department stores - and thats the single legit example I know of. Everything else video game related out here is 3rd party and likely somehow shady.

Oh, except World of Warcraft. They have an ad on every Coca-Cola can in China thats been running for like a year now. Why do you think there are so many gold farmers ;) ?

Re:This has gotta be a hard sell (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646090)

Ninendo sells some funky controller N64 based thing with games built in in department stores - and thats the single legit example I know of.
Are you sure that's a legit product? Stores and malls here are full of N64 controller-shaped things with names like "Super Happy Fun Mage Joy Pad II" that are all NES bootlegs.

Re:This has gotta be a hard sell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17647224)

Are you sure that's a legit product?

It's the China-only Nintendo iQue [wikipedia.org] .

And yes, it's legit.

Re:This has gotta be a hard sell (1)

k_187 (61692) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647318)

Nope. Its true, wikipedia said so!: Nintendo iQue [wikipedia.org]

Re:This has gotta be a hard sell (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17650790)

I live in Beijing and before I ever saw a system they had the games copied and on sale for a dollar fifty.

Well, game publishers had showed flexibility on several occasion.

As an example, many PC game titles can be bought in Russia for about $5-7.50 - with big holo sticker "Not for sale outside of Russia". You can go to black market and get same game for $2.50.

Western companies were really surprised to find that games are actually started selling in Russia. Even if people can get them on black market twice/thrice cheaper. Good price - competitive to black market one.

It was another example that no people want to be pirates - it all comes down to right price. Let's hope that MS would set right price for Xbox games in China. I think Chinese too would buy official games - but provided price would be affordable. With average monthly salary around $50 (if I'm not mistaken) you can't sell them games for ... the same $50.

P.S.

... ad on every Coca-Cola can in China ...

ZOMG!???!?!?!? Ad???? On Coca-Cola can????? Are we still speaking of the same communist China?????
Then the World is definitely coming to its end...

Re:Chinese Cloned it first. (1)

Fry-kun (619632) | more than 7 years ago | (#17649792)

Let me guess, they also improved its hardware specs by upgrading to cell processor and a blu-ray drive...

now theyve done (0, Flamebait)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643572)

Now the 360 will get hacked for sure. Also, arent most Chinese people poor?

Re:now theyve done (2, Interesting)

Anaxagor (211917) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643892)

Also, arent most Chinese people poor?

Yes. Especially in the countryside. But with a population of 1.3 billion:

all - most = more than enough to make it viable

Stand on any street corner in a place like Shanghai and you'll see plenty of people getting by on a few dollars a day, but you'll also see plenty of Benzes drive past.

No doubt it will be even cheaper again than the Hong Kong version...

Re:now theyve done (2, Interesting)

kabocox (199019) | more than 7 years ago | (#17645580)

Stand on any street corner in a place like Shanghai and you'll see plenty of people getting by on a few dollars a day, but you'll also see plenty of Benzes drive past.

You know. I always hear about how the Japanese generally dislike buying US over a Japenese product. I wonder if the average Chinese would rather buy US than a Japanese product. Japan invaded them in WWII there should be some lingering public dislike of Japan that US companies should be able to make a buck off of. I find highschoolers here in the US with a new found dislike of Japan after they learn about WWII and Pearl Harbor. But then again they don't think of Sony or Nintendo as foreign companies. They've always been here to them so what makes them foreign that their hq is in another country? Kids these days think alittle more globally than the adults do.

Re:now theyve done (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17648448)

Japanese also don't like buying Korean or Chinese or European products - Samsung isn't a well-known brand in Japan. Japanese culture is wildly xenophobic, it plays along with the "buy domestic" meme, and with the exception of a few well-marketed luxury goods, people will opt for the domestic product, even when it's obviously inferior.

Here in China, the product's quality is more important. People will generally say they don't like Japanese people (although they'll also say Japanese people are very hard-working, very polite, the women are very kind, etc.), but regardless of lingering racial resentment, Japanese goods are extremely commonplace and everyday. That's particularly true with small electronics like digital cameras or stereos.

Re:now theyve done (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 7 years ago | (#17649174)

Here in China, the product's quality is more important. People will generally say they don't like Japanese people (although they'll also say Japanese people are very hard-working, very polite, the women are very kind, etc.), but regardless of lingering racial resentment, Japanese goods are extremely commonplace and everyday. That's particularly true with small electronics like digital cameras or stereos.

Over in the US its price and performance. Sony, Nintendo, and Samsung are just as US to me as MS, IBM, Ford, and Walmart. I don't know maybe I just trust multinational companies that have always been here to me more than national companies.

You know what I love? (-1, Troll)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643678)

China vagina!

Re:You know what I love? (1)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643752)

I must be new here....

Why? (2)

Duds (100634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643766)

Seriously though.

Given that piracy is so rife in that area that they're going to sell 3 games, and the system relies on selling games to make a measureable profit, why bother to launch at all?

Especially as it seems they need to go through a lot of very expensive hassle to do so.

Re:Why? (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643786)

Given that piracy is so rife in that area that they're going to sell 3 games, and the system relies on selling games to make a measureable profit, why bother to launch at all?

Especially as it seems they need to go through a lot of very expensive hassle to do so.


Few tihngs: they lan uch in China only now, and they lost money on launch, maybe they no longer lose money. Even if they break even, it's a win.

Second, the items in the xbox shop are much cheaper and at the same time harder to pirate. They can win from that.

And I've not played on an xbox360 a lot yet, but I bet they have some ads/trailers in the live feature that brings them extra revenue. China is huge, lots of "eyeballs". Eyeballs = good :)

Re:Why? (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 7 years ago | (#17644096)

>the items in the xbox shop are much cheaper and at the same time harder to pirate.

This doesn't matter, except for the Live Arcade, because only North America has access to rentable
movies and TV show episodes. MS has STILL given no hint about when they're going to give the
rest of the world access to all that downloadable, passive entertainment.

Re:Why? (1)

CK2004PA (827615) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647324)

Well M$ used North America as a test bed for that content. Once perfected, they will gladly take money from the rest of the planet. Would you rather they release it to the entire planet at once without a testbed ? Did you ever develop an application, ever test it before giving it to all of your users at the same time ? How come French TV stations don't release new TV shows to America first ? If that is your biggest complaint, get a job and a mortgage.

Re:Why? (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#17649480)

It has nothing to do with being a test bed. It has to do with distribution rights.

The content creators (Viacom, etc) did not give MS the distribution rights for other parts of the world. If they did, MS would be happy to distribute it.

Sales of distribution rights are the reasons for DVD coding, etc. It has nothing to do with 'testing.'

Re:Why? (1)

CK2004PA (827615) | more than 7 years ago | (#17649918)

Oh that explains everything. Source ?

Re:Why? (1)

MBraynard (653724) | more than 7 years ago | (#17654040)

It's just the way the business works. Viacom decided to liscense MS to distribute it's content in the US through it's 360 with a lot of restrictions. They may have agreements with other people in, say, France for distribution of media there that restrict the time/manor/place of the distribution of the same media also in France.

Itunes is also a good example.

Also, if you have some American media it might make sense to distribute it via XBL but would be more profitable to distribute it exclusivly through, say, the PS3 (theoretical) media network in Japan where there is a larger install base.

Source? Ever heard of DVD region coding? You think that is just there to screw with you?

I actually bought some Sopranos Season 2 DVDs from the UK (region 2?) about a year before they were available in the US. Why? In the UK at the time, HBO determined this was the most profitable distrubution method - probably because they couldn't get a pay-to-view TV station in the UK to carry the show.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

jonwil (467024) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643980)

Given that current XBOX 360's make replacing the DVD drive firmware to allow copied games much harder, I dont see how piracy is going to be that much of a problem.
Piracy was huge on the first XBOX but that was because microsoft made some mistakes (such as using weak cryptographic algorithims, not knowing all the details about the CPU they were using, not taking into account the fact that it is possible to read data from a HyperTransport bus, not enforcing checksums on all game data and saved games etc). But microsoft has learned from their mistakes and has probobly made the XBOX 360 more secure.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17651912)

I hope that was meant to be a joke. Microsoft has released new firmware for the drive that caused a problem for about a week, then the firmware hackers had compromised it in the same way as they had the others. Or maybe you're talking about the epoxy on the flash chip. Heh. I would point you to YouTube where you can find a video of a hacker with a heat gun, and a scalpel neatly removing it. If you're talking about something other than those 2 "protections" please feel free to elaborate on the great new protection system.

Re:Why? (1)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17644342)

How many of the 100+ Million PS2 systems are people's second/third systems, are used to pirate games, or have only been used as a DVD player?

Now, did Sony ever advertize that the number of people who were active gamers on the PS2 was only 2 times (to pick a number) as large as the XBox/Gamecube active gamer userbase?

Re:Why? (1)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | more than 7 years ago | (#17657540)

Because they have a population of 1.3 billion people. Even if only a fraction bother to buy games, that's still a huge market and Microsoft would be insane not to give it a go, especially given the way that China has been undergoing a major technological revolution recently. It's a huge emerging market. Launching Xbox 360 in mainland China is clearly an investment into the future, not something they expect to immediately begin to pay off.

What's the point? (1)

BeShaMo (996745) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643790)

It seems a bit pointless, it's already widely available in the major cities (Imported from Hong Kong I guess). Then again, it's probably a part of a long time strategy of pouring loads of money into establishing themselves in China, and then reap the benefits in 10-15 years.

Censorship of games? (2, Funny)

Half a dent (952274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17643868)

People worry about Jack Thompson wanting to censor content... at least Rockstar's Table Tennis game will sell well.

Microsoft Desperately Trying To Appear Relevant (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17643894)

The console world and press have pretty much completely forgotten about Microsoft's buggy and beleaguered console. With the giant unsold stacks of 360s in stores right now and silly PR stuff like this Microsoft sounds like they are desperate for gamers to remember they are still making a console.

Re:Microsoft Desperately Trying To Appear Relevant (1)

CK2004PA (827615) | more than 7 years ago | (#17647422)

With the giant unsold stacks of
??
I think you meant PS3's that are unsold ? http://www.vgcharts.org/news.php?id=58 [vgcharts.org]

"The PlayStation brand doesn't appear to be helping the PS3. If NPD's numbers are correct, there are over 300K PS3s on retail shelves. That is not good for a console launch of only a million and it's not good for publishers with PS3 software."

I don't think M$ has anything to worry about, given its gigantic lead http://www.vgcharts.org/ [vgcharts.org]

People's Liberation game (0, Offtopic)

Adeptus_Luminati (634274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17644626)

This is Microsoft's chance to really make a difference in the world, if only they had the vision:

I say they offer a free game with every X-box called "People's Liberation Game!" whereby you start out as a student rallying for votes to establish an opposition political party inside the Chinese government. To win the game you have achieve certain goals:

1) Cause enough of a movement to establish a democracy
2) Rally enough votes to be elected
3) Win a majority vote & become prime minister/president
4) Pass Human rights related laws that will:
              a) Grant its citizens freedom of speech
              b) Provide fair wages to its citizens
              c) End the propogation / lies machine (this is the toughest one, even the USA/CNN is struggling with this)
5) After major internal issues are resolved, invest 50 billion dollars to restore all 6000+ Tibet temples previously destroyed by agressive chinese take over - 10 year project. The Labour work force is to be consituted primarily of soliders & ex-Chinese leaders who allowed harsh criminal acts to take place during take over - like raping & killing 1 (1 million people) out of every 6 Tibetans over the last 40 years.
6) Once the resotration work is done, an additional 10 billion is granted to fly all the Tibetan's back to their homeland and provide them with the freedom & people they once had & help them get a start on their lives.
7) Free the REAL Panchen Lama (Tibet's #2 spiritual/political leader after the Dai Lai Lama)
8) Internationally declare in writting that Tibet is its own sovereign nation, that China profusely appologizes for the genoside it has created and state that Tibet's citizens are now truly Liberated (from the oppression of the Chinese).

Bonus chapters & follow-ups include:
9) Admitting that the Incidents in Tinneman Square happened
10) Stop brain washing their students in school
11) Allow freedom of religion including the serene practice of Falun Gong
12) Take down the Chinese Firewall

Perhaps if Microsoft could get a few elected officials to play & "win" this game, they could start getting a sense of what 'Liberation' really is.

Adeptus

Re:People's Liberation game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17649052)

People might take you more seriously if you knew how to spell "genocide" and didn't just mindlessly repeat anti-Chinese propoganda. For instance, why are you so passionate about Tibet, and don't even mention Xinjiang? And anybody with any contact with Falun Gong followers knows they're a bunch of nutters of the first order. I'm guessing you don't actually know anything about Falun Gong, you or Tibet, or China. Don't let that stop you from demanding the overthrow of a foreign government. Democratization is working so well in Iraq, after all.

Light changes. (1)

shirizaki (994008) | more than 7 years ago | (#17646038)

The iconic green logo has changed. The ring now displays all red and their first batch issue will deal with "That damn red, white, and blue ring of death" on their consoles.

Games (1)

malf-uk (456583) | more than 7 years ago | (#17660902)

I'm really looking forward to the release of Guqin Hero [wikipedia.org]
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