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Microsoft partners to create Chinese game console

Microsoft partners to create Chinese game console

Mon 23 Sep 2013 10:41pm GMT / 6:41pm EDT / 3:41pm PDT
Hardware

Microsoft and BesTV are planning a new joint venture to create a new game console

Microsoft and Chinese media company BesTV New Media Co., Ltd, are partnering to bring a new gaming console and streaming device to China. According to Xinhua News, BesTV posted the news on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The new venture, E-Home Entertainment Development, will be 51 percent owned by BesTV and 49 percent owned by Microsoft. The total investment in the joint venture is $237 million.

"This is the first step of many to come for Microsoft and BesTV," Microsoft told Polygon. "We look forward to exploring new opportunities for bringing entertainment offerings to China, but we have no further details to share."

Other unconfirmed reports found by Polygon say the new console will be based on Xbox technology and be called the Bestpad. BesTV is China's leading IPTV provider with 18 million IPTV subscribers in China, southeast Asia and eastern Europe. The company just recently acquired the five-year, exclusive broadcast rights for the Premier League.

For a long time, China had a ban on the production and release of game consoles from non-Chinese companies, but that ban is expected to be lifted soon. Companies will now be able to produce their consoles within Shanghai's planned free-trade zone.

11 Comments

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
MSX Mk2?

Posted:A year ago

#1

James Boulton
Tools & Tech Coder

133 170 1.3
I was only just thinking to myself, "what we need is yet another games console". It's not as though everyone and their mate aren't making at the moment or anything...

/sarcasm

Posted:A year ago

#2

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,169 953 0.8
I don't think 'the console' has really been tapped in the Chinese market yet. I praise the potential for this tie-up.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Nick Parker
Consultant

283 151 0.5
A local console with local content to tempt local gamers - why not? Legislation aside, they need something to start a new wave.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Christian Keichel
Journalist

680 925 1.4
Other unconfirmed reports found by Polygon say the new console will be based on Xbox technology and be called the Bestpad.
If this name is true, I would expect a handheld/tablet device and not a stationary console.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,177 1,125 0.5
@Bruce: Well there was an MSX2 released and I think a 3, so I guess this could be seen as another iteration in a slightly humorous manner. I have to look up some of those China-only consoles and see if someone has a collection page online. It would be fascinating to see what sort of games are played there that are specific to the region (that aren't bootlegged or cloned) on those country only systems...

Posted:A year ago

#6

Jeff Kleist
Writer, Marketing, Licensing

334 187 0.6
@Christian

China is one of, if not the biggest SmartTv market. Millions of people there get their internet exclusively that way. When they say based on Xbox technology, they almost certainly mean that it's going to be backbones by live and related technologies, and probably have tools to port games from windows/Xbox within reason. Remember, Microsoft has a lot of programming in the works, ncluding potential revivals of Heroes and, if rumor holds Prison Break (new casts and stories). These shows were HUGE in China, and this gives them fast access to sell them there.

Posted:A year ago

#7

Robert Kist
Technical Art Manager

7 2 0.3
I live in China and I'm still not sure why even I, who can afford it, should spend money on this. The default cable channels I get here have super low compression with many artefacts, many are 4:3. The only significant premium upgrade here is getting some HD going. But then paying for content? That's like selling ice cream in Greenland. If there's the decision between price and quality most people decide on price. PPTV is free and many people are content watching the newest US shows there. If you're more picky, head down to your neighborhood pirate DVD shop and buy a whole season for USD 4.
There's probably a few people who might get it for novelty or show off reasons. And with 1.3 billion even a small percentage is a sizable amount of customers, so I can see why MS does it. Plus they're the darling of the Party, after Google gave them the finger and told them to do their censoring themselves. Guess that also explains why many people here use Bing!

Posted:A year ago

#8

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,177 1,125 0.5
@Robert: Aha. I think I get it now. Deals were made and this console seems to be part of it, most likely. "*Biiiiiiing!*"

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Greg Wilcox on 27th September 2013 3:14am

Posted:A year ago

#9

Jeff Kleist
Writer, Marketing, Licensing

334 187 0.6
Well I do think that everybody would like to see the Chinese people actually pay for content once in a while, even if that goal may be slightly delusional. Perhaps is Robert says the Lauro much better quality might be just what the doctor ordered. No I don't think that it's going to ever beat free for most, but 1% wouldn't be bad at all

Posted:A year ago

#10

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
Id like to see a new wave of chinese games to exist alongside western and japanese games. Some creative stuff, new IP and new franchises can come from a totally different region. And that would be cool.

Posted:A year ago

#11

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