The lights are on
Early this year, reports started surfacing that China was set to lift a 13-year ban on the sale of video game consoles. That has happened, and Microsoft is reported set to capitalize.
A report from Xinhua News (by way of Polygon) reveals a partnership worth approximately $237 million between Microsoft and BesTV. The latter is a major media company that sells and distributes televisions and entertainment offerings.
The result is a new company that sees BesTv in control with a slight majority share of 51 percent. The organization will be established in the Shanghai free trade zone.
[Source: Xinhua News via Polygon]
Our TakeThe product that Microsoft and BesTV design and ship will likely be built upon Xbox technology, but a wholly different device. The Chinese government will need to approve of the technology and the software.
Even with those expenses, this will be a windfall for any company successful in making in-roads. The Chinese population is a vast and largely untapped market, and if there's one thing that companies love, it's new customers.
Provided Microsoft and BesTV can navigate the tricky political waters (likely easier with a Chinese firm in the lead), the resulting revenues should make the effort worthwhile. I'm curious to see what they come up with to woo the fans in China.