Business / Gadgets

Chinese TV maker to release first video game console

By Gao Yuan (China Daily) Updated: 2014-01-28 07:54

Sony's PlayStation series and Microsoft's Xbox are among the most popular consoles worldwide.

Last September, Microsoft formed a $237 million joint venture with Shanghai-based BesTV New Media Co to bring the United States company's gaming business to China.

Local vendors are also eager to get a fair share from the looming market.

Shenzhen, Guangdong-based Huawei Technologies Co Ltd said it will introduce an Android gaming console to the Chinese market in the second quarter of the year.

The retail price for the product could be around $200 - a reasonable price tag for Chinese buyers, according Scott Sykes a spokesman for Huawei.

TCL is likely to join up with a local console maker in developing its new products, according to reports from news site

TCL did not answer calls for comment made by China Daily.

China's booming video game industry is especially attractive to console makers, analysts said.

Games running on personal computers, smartphones and arcade games are dominating the nation's market currently.

"The turnover of China's online gaming market stood at 89 billion yuan ($15 billion) in 2013, powered by a robust increase in the mobile gaming sector," said Yan Huawen, an analyst from Beijing-based iResearch Consulting Group.

PC games will remain the largest contributor over the next few years although they will lose ground to mobile games, according to Yan.

"PC games will generate more than 60 percent of the industry turnover this year and about half by 2017."

Yet how big the game console market will be in China is still uncertain because lighter and easy-to-play mobile games are the trend and diehards of sophisticated console games were able to purchase smuggled terminals long before the ban was lifted, industry insiders said.

"After smart TVs and set top boxes, game consoles will be the third power that alters the way Chinese people use their living rooms," said Xin Haiguang, an independent industry researcher.

But he also argued local vendors may have missed a big profit opportunity because of the 13-year ban.

"Chinese companies were only used as console assemblers. Overseas companies have gained huge earnings out of the business," said Xin.



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