Microsoft is getting very serious about selling Xbox One consoles in China, as the company has cut a deal with China’s leading fixed-line broadband operator, China Telecom, to sell the Xbox One console beginning in September. This is a major breakthrough for Microsoft, locking up the leading broadband provider in China while Sony is still in the early stage s of bringing the PlayStation 4 to China.

The Xbox 360 has sold reasonably well on the black market in Chna and in other Asian countires, but the recent lifting of the official ban on consoles in China brings a chance for Microsoft to come out of the shadows. According to the Wall Street Journal, “China Telecom will be the exclusive carrier partner of the Xbox One in China and consumers will be able ‘to enjoy the games and entertainment experience at home’ by signing up for the company’s broadband subscription contract, the carrier said in a statement Thursday.”

China Telecom has been buys expanding its service offerings beyond it basic voice plans for phones to a wide range of higher value services, like e-commerce, online learning and medical services, via its broadband connections. China Telecom does have over 100 million broadband subscribers, so there’s a solid market base for Microsoft to go after.

The price of the console in China hasn’t been announced. Microsoft will be producing the consoles in Shanghai, under an agreement with Best TV announced earlier this year. Clearly price will be a major hurdle for Microsoft to overcome in China, but there’s now a substantial middle class in China with a fair amount of disposable income. What sort of games will be available on the Xbox One in China> How well will these games be localized. Will Microsoft try to bring some of the biggest hits on PC in China to the Xbox One? So far, Microsoft isn’t saying, but perhaps we’ll hear more as the launch date approaches.

Source: Wall Street Journal