MS moot Chinese Xbox 360 launch
With Microsoft having already revealed that the Xbox 360 should be out on November 22nd in North America, December 2nd in Europe, and December 10th in Japan, the global technology giant has also announced that a debut in China is being plotted. MS China boss Tim Chen made this revelation at a business forum in Shanghai, but would only offer '2006' by way of a release date. No price for the Chinese launch was hinted at, but the People's Republic joins a growing list of nations to which the Xbox 360 has been promised in 2006. Australia, Colombia, Hong Kong, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore and Taiwan are all also eagerly awaiting the new year.
Whilst average wages are still generally too low to support mass uptake of an expensive next-generation console like the 360, Microsoft's move is regarded as symbolic; demonstrating acknowledgement for the growing wealth and importance of China, and hinting at more to come in the future. Sony made a similar demonstration of support by launching the PS2 in wealthier Chinese cities last year.
"With the improving intellectual property rights situation, I think there's going to be a lot of improvement in the next couple of years," Chen commented on widespread software piracy problems in China, which would severely inhibit company profits from software sales. Interestingly, the Xbox 360 will actually be manufactured in China, which in some ways makes it rather odd that it will be among the last places to receive the new system. We'll keep you posted.