PlayStation 4 to Finally Debut in China This Month
In just a few weeks, Sony will be launching its PlayStation consoles in the second biggest video game market in the world.
Bloomberg reports that, after a delay this past January, Sony will be launching the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV in China on March 20. The Chinese government halted PlayStation's January 11 launch at the eleventh hour to accommodate undisclosed changes to the system, likely to control the amount of time a person can play in one day and to limit its digital lineup of games based on the amount of violence they contain (they're pretty strict about violent games over there). The PS4 will sell in China for the suggested price of 2,899 yuan (roughly $463) and the Vita will cost 1,299 yuan (~$207).
In January of 2014, the Chinese government lifted a 14-year ban on console games, which it had imposed in 2000. Since then, gamers have shifted over to computer and mobile gaming. The Chinese gaming market's switch to computer gaming resulted in a boom in Internet cafe-based gaming. Multiple deaths have occurred in multiple Asian Internet cafes over the past few years due to patrons participating in marathon gameplay sequences without taking any breaks, food, rest or water. The PlayStation 4 is currently leading the current-gen console war with over 20.2 million units sold, and Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai intends on raising its gaming department's profits to the highest levels it has seen since 1998 (note: the original Xbox system debuted a couple years later).
The Xbox One launched in China this past September. Due to censorship laws, only 10 games of its 348 total games (many of these being digital-only) were available. We can't wait to see how the Chinese market affects the console war between Microsoft and Sony.