For the first time in a decade, Sony will have a video game console on the market in the most populous nation in the world.
After China dropped a 10-year ban on gaming consoles back in January, Sony began plans to launch its new PlayStation 4 in the country. The last console to be available in China was the PlayStation 2 back in 2004.
Under the new selling restrictions, companies can sell their consoles and games only if it is done in Shanghai’s free-trade zones. To accomplish this, Sony has partnered with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group, a state-run organization, to build and sell PlayStation consoles and software in China.
Sony’s announcement follows Microsoft revealing that they will be releasing the Xbox One in China this September. There is no word on when Sony plans to release the PlayStation 4 in China, but it is expected to happen later this year.
In addition to the launching Xbox One, the PS4 will face tough competition in China from the PC and mobile gaming markets, which have become the go-to source for gaming in the communist nation. Sony will also have to deal with a black market that has become successful in helping gamers get access to what they need in different ways.
This is huge news for Sony. The company is struggling as a whole, and is relying on the PS4 to help bail them out. If the PS4 can succeed in China the way it has across the rest of the world, then Sony should see an improvement in its overall finances.