Microsoft’s Xbox One console to go on sale in China in September

— Reuters Photo

SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft Corp will begin selling its Xbox One video game console in China in September through its partnership with Chinese Internet TV company BesTV New Media Co.

The partners will also kickstart a program to help developers create, publish and sell Xbox One games in China and other markets where the console is sold, Microsoft said in a statement.

In September last year, Microsoft and BesTV, a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group, formed a joint venture and invested $237 million in “family games and related services.”

Last week, Shanghai’s government said console makers such as Microsoft, Sony Corp and Nintendo Co will be able to manufacture and sell consoles in China through “foreign-invested enterprises” in Shanghai’s free trade zone.

China had banned game consoles in 2000, citing their negative effect on the mental health of its youth. It temporarily lifted the ban in January.

Pirated and smuggled consoles have been available in China during the ban, but they sold poorly as Chinese gamers predominantly play PC and mobile games.

Microsoft has sold more than 5 million Xbox One video game consoles to retailers since its launch in November.



Asus unveils T100 hybrid device in San Francisco

TAIPEI: Asus CEO Jonney Shih yesterday unveiled the competitively priced T100 hybrid device during a press conference staged near the grounds of the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

The Asus Transformer Book T100 is a hybrid two-in-one device that may be used as both a laptop and a tablet computer. Running the Windows 8.1 Operating System, the device is compatible with numerous productivity and entertainment applications. Weighing in at 2.2 pounds, it is 16 per cent lighter than the rival iPad 4, and boasts up to 11 hours of usage on a full charge, ensuring a high degree of unencumbered mobility and convenience.

Most notably, the unit features Intel’s new line of quad-core Bay Trail processors, representing the latest advancement in balancing performance power and energy efficiency, in addition to 2GB of RAM. Its in-plane-switching (IPS) display panel has a resolution rated at 1366 x 768 pixels, and features a wide 178-degree viewing angle.

The main unit has a variety of miniaturized connection ports, consisting of a micro-USB, micro-HDMI, and a microSD slot, while its keyboard dock add-on module is equipped with a single USB 3.0 port.

The T100 is competitively priced at US$350 for the 32-gigabyte storage variant, and $399 for 64-gigabyte version.

The product will hit the shelves in the US market on October 18, when Microsoft releases the Windows 8.1 operating system patch.

However, based on company precedents, the product will likely be sold at a comparatively higher price in Taiwan than advertised retail prices for the US market.