Now that China has lifted its nationwide ban on video games, Sony has finally decided to stake out the market for the most populated country in the world.
Polygon reports that Sony is teaming up with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Culture Development in order to start launching PlayStation products in China. Unfortunately, it is unsure as to what platforms would start selling in China in order to start this crossover, whether it be the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PS Vita or something entirely new.
With a population of over 1.3 billion people, there is a large and viable market for Sony to make an excellent profit. Considering that most Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii systems were built and assembled in China before shipping to other countries, the cost of transporting PlayStation products to various areas of the country should be relatively small once things are underway.
China started a nationwide ban on video game products 14 years ago due to fears of video game violence, addiction and a decrease in productivity throughout the country's younger crowds. Despite the ban, gaming was still extremely popular and only resulted in a tremendous increase in pirated gaming content throughout China.
Sony and Shanghai Oriental Pearl Culture Development will be forming two companies that will work throughout Shanghai's free trade zone. One of these companies will manage sales, licensing, distribution and funding, while the other will mainly focus on hardware manufacturing. Both companies will be a part of the new Shanghai branch of Sony Computer Entertainment, which is a part of Sony China.
In related news, Microsoft has already revealed that it is planning to launch the Xbox One in China by this September. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has also planned to release new devices in "emerging markets" (likely China), in early 2015.