As some of you surely know China was placed under a foreign console ban for the last 14 year, preventing big international companies to sell their products on the market. This is just one of numerous government policies put into place to assure proper content filtration aligned with official policy.
A resolution was finally voted last year and Beijing officially lifted the restriction, but a lot of conditions and limitations still apply. Sony Corp has announced its firm intention to release its latest console – the PlayStation 4 to new market and the event was scheduled for January 11.
The Japanese tech giant is now postponing the release date due to “various factors”. Industry sources point towards prolonged negotiations with the Chinese government as the primary reason for the delay. This sounds credible enough as various strict content rules and restrictions need to be kept by in terms of content on the console and especially within games.
China is a formidable market where the gamin sector ramped up a revenue of $15 billion dollars last year. Sony could really use the new sales to combat recent unfavorable conditions around their mobile division so we expect to see a resolution fairly soon.
Sony’s primary rival in the console segment – Microsoft has apparently managed to procure a more advantageous position with the Chinese government, as the US company has already launched its Xbox One console in September. Conditions are still tough though as only about 10 games have been granted a license to be sold by Microsoft, which definitely limits the general appeal to gamers. This is only further cemented by stiff competition in the face of a dominant local PC gaming industry.
Currently the Xbox One retails for about CNY 3,699 (or about $595), which Sony aims to combat with an initial price tag of CNY 2.899 (about $466), which is more than $400 asking price in the US, but still significantly less than what Microsoft wants. Furthermore the Japanese manufacturer plans to hit the market with a library of about 30 games, which it is already working hard to license.
The console war is set once again and with a new battleground it is anybody’s guess how it is going to play out this time.