Microsoft has received a boost in the console wars after China Telecom announced it will start selling the Xbox One gaming console in China from September through an exclusive contract.
The Xbox One will be the first gaming console to be released in mainland China since the government banned console sales in 2000, citing games' effects on mental health and the fact it is being peddled through a telephone company could mean big sales for Redmond.
It might not of course. Apple is still waiting for the much promised boom in the sale of iPhones through its deals with Chinese telcos and much depends on what is seen as a tricky market. In September last year, Microsoft reached a deal with Chinese internet TV set-top box maker BesTV New Media Co Ltd to form a joint venture to manufacture the consoles in Shanghai's Free Trade Zone.
To spur sales, Microsoft in June began selling the Xbox One without the Kinect motion sensor for $399, or $100 below the price of the full bundle. It is a weird deal, an Xbox One without a Kinect is a bit like Oliver and Hardy without Hardy.