Come September 2014 Microsoft is going to release its new console, the Xbox One, in China. The People’s Republic has long been closed off to gaming consoles but recent changes in policy have allowed companies like Microsoft to partner with a local company in order to sell their consoles. Gamers in China would no doubt be counting days until September, apart from wondering how much they would have to pay for a unit. Microsoft hasn’t officially confirmed the Xbox One price in China, but if local press is to be believed, it may be very expensive.
Chinese online electronics retailer Zol.com posted a picture with the Xbox One price on it, the retailer claims that the console will cost 4,999 RMB when it launches in September. That translates to almost $800.
Microsoft launched the Xbox One in November 2013. The U.S. and a handful of other markets were the first to get it. On its home turf Microsoft sold the Xbox One with Kinect for $499. Now there’s a Kinect-less version being sold for $399. At this price it seems that the Xbox One costs double in China.
Then again, local taxes play a major part in driving the price up. The Chinese government has set value added tax or VAT for goods in China at 17 percent. This is added to the cost of the product. No wonder the grey market thrives in these situations.
Microsoft hasn’t confirmed the official Xbox One price in China as yet so for all we know this figure might not be true. But given how electronic goods usually cost more than anywhere else in China, where ironically majority of the production takes place, one can’t expect the console to cost the same as in the U.S.