China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Thursday that IPTV users in China already exceeded 5 million, and that the service is being offered in more than 20 provinces in the country.
Other overseas companies like OnLive and Playcast are also pushing out gaming services without the need for high-end hardware. But in the case of China, the video gaming market is still in its early stages and lacks game developers, said Yu Yi, an analyst with Analysys International.
"The software-side for this kind of gaming is not yet mature, so its hard for companies to release their own video game consoles," he said. "It will take some time for this family entertainment industry to develop."
Users in China, however, can still get their hands on popular video game systems by buying from the country's grey market. Local vendors will purchase the consoles from overseas and then bring them back to China to be sold to local customers.
But soon users in China will have another option for their gaming needs. The country's largest PC maker, Lenovo, is also trying to tap the video gaming market by launching its own console through the company's gaming unit Beijing Eedoo Technology. The company's eBox is slated to be released early next year in China, and features a controller-free technology that will allow users to play games using physical motions.
Eedoo is preparing 30 games being developed by both domestic and overseas developers to coincide with the launch. The company believes it can potentially reach 120 million households in China with the device.
"Motion sensing games are the trend for the next ten years," Li said, noting that both Sony and Microsoft are following Nintendo's footsteps by developing motion sensing gaming of their own. Microsoft's Kinect device for its Xbox 360 will be launched next month and also allows users to play games using their physical motions.
"If you say Microsoft is copying the Wii, then in that sense we are copying," Li added. "It's a motion sensing game, and Wii is the pioneer. But we feel that our device has a lot of advantages."
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