Tech 2.0 - Microsoft Announces Expansion Into China & Original Programming

Contributor: Matt Davenport
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Updated: 4/30/2014 2:41 pm
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Microsoft says it will start selling its Xbox One video game console in China in September.

Microsoft Corp. says it is launching the system through a partnership with BesTV New Media Co., a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group. Microsoft says the system will be available throughout China. Video game consoles are technically banned in the country, but Microsoft was able to get around this by working with BesTV, which is part owned by the Chinese government. Microsoft and BesTV have a joint video game venture called E-Home Entertainment. It was the first company registered in China's Shanghai free-trade zone. Microsoft says the Xbox launch is a "significant milestone" for the company and the industry.

And Microsoft announces Xbox Originals, a slate of original TV series. The dozen original television series, from documentaries to sci-fi epics, will be available exclusively on Xbox gaming consoles and other Microsoft devices. Leading the charge are Steven Spielberg and Ridley Scott, who are involved in two separate series based on the massively popular "Halo" video-game franchise. Others in the lineup, which will begin rolling out in June, include a sci-fi drama, "Humans," and a documentary series called "Signal to Noise." Netflix led the charge for creating original content two years ago, and has Emmy awards to show for it. Then last year, Amazon began producing original content for its prime streaming service. And on Monday, Yahoo announced it will be bringing its own long-form shows to our multitude of screens next year, starting with a pair of comedies.

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