Microsoft has launched the Xbox One in China - becoming the first major console maker to enter what could be a massively lucrative market.

The first consoles were sold in Shanghai, priced at 4,299 yuan ($699, 430). Sony and Nintendo are yet to launch their respective products.

In January, the Chinese government lifted a 14-year ban on consoles, made because of worries over content.

However, many popular titles, such as Call of Duty, will still be banned.

Only 10 games were available to buy on the Xbox One's release - but Microsoft has said 70 titles are in the pipeline.

Beating its rivals to the market may give Microsoft a much-needed sales boost. Its console is currently being outsold by Sony's PlayStation 4 in all major markets.

But Piers Harding-Rolls, a games analyst from IHS, told the BBC: "There's advantages and disadvantages in being first.

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The BBC's Martin Patience reports as the Xbox console goes on sale in China

"There's obviously potential. Overcoming the issues of piracy, overcoming the issues of pricing, having the right content to connect with the local audience - those are all big issues."

Sony has set up business partnerships to launch the PS4 in China, but a date has not yet been set.

Both companies will compete with a thriving black market in illegally imported consoles playing pirated versions of games.

The firms will also come up against mobile games, which are not banned in China and are extremely popular.

BBC News