Microsoft is taking one of its boldest moves ever as it is reportedly in discussions to bring the Xbox 360 to China, a country mired in piracy, loose laws, and unparalleled poverty.
Sure, China has a huge gamer population. In a nation of 1.3 billion people you certainly can attract a large consumer base. Of course, the sweepingly vast majority of those Chinese gamers get their fix for mere pennies, buying unofficially pirated merchandise off the street.
China's infamously loose intellectual property laws have led to a huge sense of fear among all kinds of media companies, not the least of which are players in the video game industry.
Microsoft's Chinese VP Ya-Qin Zhang has reportedly expressed interest in bringing the Xbox 360 to the market, but has said little beyond that. How it expects consumers to actually pay for an official version of the console, when cheap knockoffs are available all over the place, is very much still unknown.
Nintendo made a bold move in 2003 when it allowed a system known as the iQue to license its Nintendo 64 technology. According to Gamasutra, this is the only official video game console in China.
Even Sony, which has branched out to a whole slew of countries normally neglected by video gamer companies with the PS3, has never expressed any desire to get mired in the Chinese market.