Xbox One: China Responds

Microsoft revealed the next generation Xbox yesterday at the Xbox Reveal Event. Its announcement of the Xbox One was met with fan disappointment and a rise in Sony’s stock value, due in part to fees required to play used games, mandatory Kinect, and a focus more on periphery services like TV, movies, and sports, and less on actual games. reports, “Microsoft’s confused, boring reveal event angered the core audience and worried business commentators.

GameSpot is running a Twitter battle that pits the PS4 against the Xbox One, and the map currently shows China supporting the PS4 over the Xbox One—which really only reflects what those Chinese users who are able to access Twitter via VPNs think. But what do users in China really have to say? Of course, China’s console ban means that no licensed sales of the Xbox One will occur in China, but this doesn’t mean that un-licensed sales won’t happen (stores will find a way to get consoles past customs), or that Chinese gamers don’t have an opinion. For instance, 喆哥cz writes, “Comparing to Xbox one, I prefer Xbox 360 + apple TV”; others wrote, “This isn’t good,” or “I don’t know what to say about this. I’m cheering for the PS4.” Some complained that it offered nothing new, while one user even said that, upon watching the Microsoft conference, he felt that America was falling behind the Japanese (a serious insult coming from a country that hates the Japanese). On the other hand, one user said he would “of course” buy Microsoft, for no other reason than to support the American-made product over the Japanese-made one. In response, another poster said, “If that’s your logic, you shouldn’t buy either of them.” The primary complaint among micro-bloggers was against what would likely be a steep price-tag, and many were holding on to their opinions until the price was announced.

A minority of the responses were positive, saying that the Kinect and voice control were “too tempting”; that they’d buy one as soon as the high school college entrance exams (gao kao) ended; some, however, could only offer an unenthusiastic “not bad”.

Users also found the Sony stock rise poignant, but did not comment on Sony’s country of origin. One user stated:

Since the official unveiling of Microsoft’s next generation home console, Xbox One will quickly become one of the world’s leading technology and provide headline-making games, but in the overwhelming reports on the console, we found more interesting news: after the Xbox One announcement, Sony’s stock rose nearly 10%.

木头1206 also blogged,

Usually when a manufacturer releases a new game console, it should be its most beautiful moment. 7 to 8 years of development leading to this moment, showing it off to the world. The other competitors should feel depressed and under pressure. But this time the Xbox One had a most unexpected result—the same day, Microsoft did not go up, it went down unprecedented. Before Microsoft’s event even finished, Sony’s stock soared 10 percent.

I found one Tieba forum thread asking people whether they supported the Xbox One or the PS4. Sixteen people voted for the Xbox One, compared to ten for the PS4, six who said both, and six who said neither/unsure. Many people also said they would simply buy whichever one was cracked first, which is a unique argument I haven’t seen used in Western debates.

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