Microsoft Corp. is set to launch its popular Xbox 360 console in China in the next few months, expanding beyond its traditional focus on selling PC software in the country, industry sources said.
The software giant has been discussing the launch with local Internet service providers and personal computer makers since late last year, and plans to appoint several sales agents for Xbox 360 in the mainland, sources in the consumer technology sector said.
Microsoft is also checking with the Chinese government, including the culture and information ministries, that authorities are comfortable with the product, the sources said.
The government reviews the content of video games sold in China and has been cautious about approving the sale of imported games, so its stance may be the main factor determining when Xbox 360 sales begin.
Microsoft has declined to give a specific timeframe for when Xbox 360 will begin selling in China, but some stores in major cities such as Shanghai have told potential consumers that it may be available for sale around the lunar new year in the middle of February, retail industry sources said.
Microsoft said in 2005 it intended to launch the Xbox 360 in China. But it has not announced a timeframe partly because of uncertainty over Chinese regulators' attitude to the product, according to Chinese media...