Microsoft delays launch of Xbox One in China

Xbox and PlayStation signage on display at the 2014 E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo.
Chris Morris | CNBC
Xbox and PlayStation signage on display at the 2014 E3 Electronic Entertainment Expo.

Microsoft has delayed the launch of its Xbox One game console in China, which had been set for release on Tuesday, but the world's biggest software company said it would be released by the end of the year.

Microsoft did not give a reason for the delay in a statement on Sunday.

The delay is the latest in a series of setbacks for Microsoft in China, where it is under investigation for suspected anti-trust violations related to the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office.

The Chinese government lifted a 2000 ban on gaming consoles earlier this year. Microsoft had reached a deal with Chinese internet TV set-top box maker BesTV New Media Co Ltd to form a joint venture to manufacture the consoles in Shanghai's Free Trade Zone a year ago.

The Xbox One console will cost 3,699 yuan ($602.37) without the Kinect motion detection system and 4,299 yuan ($700) with Kinect, Microsoft said in July.

China is the world's third-biggest gaming market, where revenues grew by more than a third from 2012 to nearly $14 billion last year.

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However, piracy and the dominance of PC and mobile gaming may leave little room for legitimate console and game sales.

In May, Sony said it would set up a joint venture with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group to bring the PlayStation games console to China.