Xbox One Pre-Orders Now Available In China
Pre-orders for the Xbox One are now underway for those living in China. This is huge news for Microsoft because the console is gearing up for a release in the mainland of China and nearly every piece of the puzzle is in place, save for a couple of key details that may or may not determine how well Microsoft's console will succeed in the far east.
The news about the console being up and available for pre-order comes courtesy of Beta News, where they noted that a site going by the name of JD.com – a site that happens to be owned by China's second largest e-commerce business, measured by their market share of course – is listing the Xbox One for pre-order availability.
However, there's a bit of a catch. You can't simply go to the JD.com website and search up the Xbox One. What happens is that you'll get a return of results that show related material to the Xbox One but not the actual pre-order tickets for pre-purchasing Microsoft's console. The listings do bring up plenty of Xbox 360 accessories, enabling users to find all sorts of gadgets and covers for controllers and whatnot on Microsoft's previous generation console, even though the console wasn't available officially in mainland China's market.
Instead, if you want to pre-order the Xbox One from JD.com you'll have to access it via Tencent Holdings' mobile web services such as QQ or WeChat. Betanews points out that the service is known as Weixin in China.
You can log into the services and access the pre-orders that will be available only between July 28th and July 30th. The window of opportunity is very small and kept to stark minimum it appears. There hasn't been a thorough explanation as to why the pre-order window is so small, but it means that potential purchasers will have to hurry if they want to get their hands on Microsoft's device earlier than everyone else.
On the flip-side, there are those who are already selling the console through imports on auction sites. A site called Paipai.com is listing an Xbox One as being available between ¥3844.20 and ¥5521.20. That roughly translates between $615 and nearly $900 USD.
If the auction sites are anything to go by, it appears the average price is around ¥3800, so it's likely that that may be the price in which the Xbox One is made available in mainland China this September.
The console has already established a manufacturing distributor in BesTV and the console has a retail chain partner in China Telecommunications Corporation. Microsoft is planning on 100,000 consoles in the region within the first quarter of its availability. Depending on how sales go they're likely to ramp that number up.
Right now things are very much up-in-the-air as far as sales possibilities and potential go for the home consoles since China has had a 14 year ban on home console devices. With the ban lifted some believe that middle-class Chinese will flock to consoles. According to a recent poll, many Chinese gamers seem to prefer the PS4 over the Xbox, while a sizable amount still would prefer to get their consoles from gray market importers.
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