Microsoft pushes back Xbox One release date in China

The Xbox One was originally slated to arrive in China this week on Sept. 23.

Microsoft has pushed back the launch date of the Xbox One in mainland China, saying it needs more time to polish the system before it goes for sale.

The popular gaming console was originally scheduled to launch on Sept. 23. But on Saturday, Microsoft posted an official statement that said the Xbox One would come to the country at a later date.

"To ensure that Chinese gamers can fully enjoy the best gaming and entertainment experiences on the Xbox One, we will likely need some more time for the final preparations," Microsoft said in the Chinese language statement, adding that progress on the console had been moving along steadily.

The official Microsoft store in China now says the console is projected to arrive before the year's end.

The Xbox One was originally slated to be the first foreign gaming console officially sold in the country, after the Chinese government recently ended a 13-year-old ban on foreign gaming systems.

But in China, the company is coming out with a special version of the product that, while priced higher than its U.S. counterpart, will offer games at cheaper prices. Microsoft is also working with 25 Chinese developers to release over 70 different games for the console.

The U.S. tech giant has been lobbying the government for years to end the ban, and in September 2013 the Microsoft entered into a joint venture with a Shanghai-based company to develop the Chinese version of the Xbox One.

Local electronic stores in Beijing have already been offering pre-orders for the product, and Microsoft's Chinese partner BesTV has said the government has approved the sale of 5 million Xbox One units.

Despite the delayed release, Microsoft said on Saturday that pre-orders for the Xbox One have exceed expectations. It will sell the system in 37 cities across the country, through 4,000 retail points.

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Michael Kan

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