According to a new report from press agency Reuters citing 'industry sources', Microsoft is planning to launch the Xbox 360 console in China in the next few months, pending authorization from the Chinese government, including the culture and information ministries.
The Chinese government has made a practice of heavily scrutinizing video game content that is sold within the region, and that government approval may play a significant role in determining the exact date in which the Xbox 360 console goes on sale in China. Microsoft previously announced in 2005 that it planned to release the Xbox 360 hardware in China in 2006, though obviously those plans did not pan out.
"We take a long-term approach to each market and continue to evaluate the China market for opportunities," commented Andres Vejarano, regional marketing director at Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division for Asia & Greater China in an email to Reuters.
Looking to China specifically, the report notes that Microsoft has begun working with Chinese internet service providers and computer manufactures regarding the impending launch, and also plans to hire personnel to handle sales activities concerning the Xbox 360 on the Chinese mainland, though a specific time frame for these future hires remains as unknown as the launch itself.
Likewise, a price has yet to be confirmed for the console as well, though the Xbox 360 sells for HK$2,329 ($300) in Hong Kong, where the system was launched in November 2005. At the recent CES event in Las Vegas, Microsoft's Bill Gates and Robbie Bach announced that the company has shipped 10.4 million units of its Xbox 360 worldwide up to the end of 2006.