The arrival of the Xbox One, which was originally slated to be released in China earlier this week, has now has been delayed until sometime before the end of the year.
So far, various Microsoft reps have addressed the delay but have been unclear about the reasons behind it. “At Xbox, we pride ourselves on delivering first-rate gaming and entertainment experiences, and to allow us to deliver on that promise, we need to reschedule the launch of Xbox One,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon. “Working with our partner, BesTV, we look forward to launching in China by the end of this year.”
Some are pointing to the recent news that the arrival of the Xbox One was met with a completely underwhelming response in Japan. Only 23,563 units were sold in the first four days, hundreds of thousands less than past products. “The Xbox has not historically sold great in Japan, but even past iterations have done better than that,” points out Forbes contributor Paul Tassi.
China is the world’s third-biggest gaming market, with revenues growing more than a third from 2012 to over $14 billion last year. Right now, orders and launch of the Xbox One are in limbo, but for those who pre-ordered and are waiting patiently for the console, there will be a special “bonus gift” on the new release date. Many were already unhappy with the 50% high cost for the devise than the starting price in the United States.
The news that Microsoft would begin selling the Xbox One in China came last spring, after the Chinese government ended a longstanding ban on foreign videogame consoles due to their impact on children. China then ended the restriction for non-Chinese companies that operate within a new free trade zone in Shanghai.
As of Sunday, Microsoft still had not give a reason for the Xbox release delay in any of its statements. The company is also under investigation in China for suspected anti-trust violations, that relate to the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office, and some are speculating that the delay is somehow related.