Microsoft has partnered up with Shanghai's BesTV for a new gaming initiative aimed at the Chinese market, but details on the joint project are relatively slim. Xinhua News reports that total investment from both sides is expected to reach $237 million USD; BesTV will hold a 51 percent stake in the venture, with Microsoft laying claim to 49 percent. For now, it's been named E-Home Entertainment Development, and BesTV — which manufactures various electronics including IPTVs — says its partnership with Microsoft will lead to "family games and related services."

As Polygon points out, some press outlets are claiming that an Xbox-inspired gaming console is in the works, but neither side has outlined specifics as to what China's consumers can expect. The Chinese government has long enforced a ban on traditional gaming consoles, though officials have claimed that they're planning to lift those restrictions in the near future. In the interim, bringing software to BesTV's set-top boxes and smart TVs could help evade that ban. Whatever its intentions, Microsoft seems optimistic about the deal, telling Polygon "This is the first step of many to come for Microsoft and BesTV."