Free Xbox Gold up­sets Chi­nese gamers

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Mi­crosoft has an­nounced that it will con­tinue to of­fer its Gold Xbox Live ser­vice for free in China. How­ever the news has dis­ap­pointed some con­sole own­ers who be­lieve a sub­scrip­tion would en­able them to ac­cess more con­tent.

China's Xbox Gold ser­vice is very lim­ited com­pared with other mar­kets in or­der to com­ply with the coun­try's strict cen­sor­ship laws.

The free trial was sup­posed to have ended this week. China is the only coun­try in which ac­cess to a re­gion­ally locked-down ver­sion of the on­line Gold ser­vice is free.

Reg­u­lar mem­ber­ship in most coun­tries in­cludes on­line mul­ti­player func­tions, free on­line games and dis­counts on oth­ers.

On­line games still re­quire govern­ment ap­proval be­fore they can launch in China, which means that many are un­avail­able.

Shar­ing the news on its of­fi­cial Weibo ac­count, a pop­u­lar Chi­nese mi­cro-blog­ging plat­form, Mi­crosoft said it would con­tinue to be free "for rea­sons you un­der­stand".

"To say that Chi­nese Xbox fans were not amused might be an un­der­state­ment,"re­ports the Tech in Asia web­site. "Fans are in­censed at what many see as a pat­tern of con­stant de­lays." The Xbox One gam­ing con­sole went on sale in China in 2014, af­ter a 14-year ban on con­soles was lifted.

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