In China, video game consoles are banned. Recently, there's been chatter than the ban will be lifted. But who needs home consoles when there's already a workaround: Ditch the game machines completely.
This week, Microsoft announced (via WSJ.com) that it was partnering with China's BesTV to create "family games and related services." According to Reuters, BesTV and Microsoft are, more specifically, working on a "next generation family gaming product and service."
In China, BesTV is an internet TV provider and uses a set-top box for its video streaming and on-demand service, which you can see below in a photo courtesy of PCPop. The device apparently runs Android 4.0.
Since BesTV uses an IPTV system, it would make sense for Microsoft to partner with them as BesTV's IPTV licence could allow Microsoft the ability to beam games into Chinese living rooms without requiring a dedicated gaming console.
Why go through all the hassle of dealing with a console ban, when these days, you don't even need a video game console?
Kotaku is reaching out to Microsoft and will update this post should the company comment.
Microsoft, BesTV to Invest up to $US237 Mln in China Venture [WSJ.com] 百视通与微软拟在上海自贸区设合资公司 [Reuters]