It looks like Sony is finally going to bring its gaming consoles over to China after the county ended its 14-year ban on foreign gaming consoles back in January of this year. The PlayStation Vita is expected to go on sale January 11, 2015 alongside the PlayStation 4.
The PlayStation 4 will be arriving about four months after Microsoft’s Xbox One Chinese launch. Microsoft was the first company to take advantage of the third largest gaming market, dominated by PC and mobile gaming, which saw the company sell over 100,000 units within its first week when the console was release September 29.
"PS4 is expanding at the fastest rate in PlayStation hardware history, and the global gaming community is enjoying the ultimate entertainment experience only available on PlayStation," said Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House. "We are delighted that we are able to fully launch our business in China, which is a market with great potential."
Sony’s pricing strategy for the PlayStation 4, with 500GB HDD and controller, will see the console retail for 2,899 Yuan ($468). This makes it cheaper than the Xbox One, which, upon release in China, retailed for 4,200 Yuan ($699) with the Kinect. Without the Kinect, the Xbox One retails for 3,699 Yuan ($598). Meanwhile, the PlayStation Vita will be priced at 1,299 Yuan ($210).
But Sony, like Microsoft, will have to deal with government censors who will approve of what games both companies are allowed to publish in China. Upon the Xbox One’s launch, there were only 10 games available for Chinese consumers that left out Xbox staples such as Halo and Gears of War.
According to a company spokesperson, Sony has applied for licenses for 30 gaming titles with several already having been approved. However, there has been no information provided as to what games have been approved or which titles the company is hoping to release in China. Due to the country’s rigid stance on censorship, it is highly unlikely that games such as Grand Theft Auto V will be made available to the Chinese market.
At last count, around 13.5 million PlayStation 4 consoles have been shipped worldwide while Microsoft’s tally stood at just over 10 million. How the new market will affect sales for both companies has yet to be seen, though Microsoft has been quiet about Xbox One sales in China since its initial debut.
Do you think the PlayStation 4 will do better in this new market than the Xbox One and will the PlayStation Vita find success there as well?