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PS4 and Xbox One aren't big in China, yet TV-based games grow in popularity

The official launches of Sony and Microsoft's game boxes hasn't made a big impact on the market -- but there are big expectations for the TV-based gaming space.

The Chinese gaming market is dominated by PC and mobile games -- consoles are not a factor. That's partially because between 2000 and last year, consoles were banned in the country.

Both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 have launched in China -- to near-silence. Fewer than 550,000 of both consoles, combined, will be sold in 2015, analyst firm Niko Partners estimates.

Here's the interesting bit: The firm predicts revenue from all TV-based games at $654 million in 2015; that number, it says, will swell to $3.0 billion by 2019.

What accounts for that much money? Smart TVs and Android set-top boxes: Two platforms that have not taken off in the West. Chinese companies like Snail Game are offering Android-based devices like the OBox, which feature more locally-developed content and focus on free-to-play games.

Flagging microconsole maker Ouya was even able to pick up a $10 million investment from Chinese internet giant Alibaba on the back of the popularity of the Android-based TV gaming market.

Set-top boxes and smart TVs will overtake consoles in 2019 in China, Niko says.

If you want more details, Niko offers a premium research report on the market. Niko analyst Lisa Hanson has written about the topic on Gamasutra before, too. Earlier this year, she shared her predictions for the Chinese game market for 2015.  

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