Tech

Sony Will Bring PlayStation To China

Sony announced it will bring its PlayStation to China. No word on which PlayStation Chinese gamers will see or when they'll be able to buy it.

Sony Will Bring PlayStation To China
Sony
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​Sony is bringing the PlayStation to China. This comes shortly after the country lifted its longtime ban on gaming consoles.

But maybe more importantly, Sony's announcement follows a similar one from Microsoft last month, when the company said its Xbox One would debut in China this fall.

And like Microsoft, Sony has reportedly partnered with a local company to make it happen. Re/code says Sony will handle producing and selling the hardware while Shanghai Oriental Pearl Culture Development will take on software licensing and sales.

Unlike Microsoft, Sony offered few details.

The Verge reports, "The company remains cagey today, refusing to divulge details on the particular timing or devices it has in mind."

You might assume Sony would just start selling the PS4, which has already proven a worthy competitor to the Xbox One.

But the company could also follow Nintendo's lead and develop a custom console for China. (Via IGN)

Regardless, Sony reportedly said it plans to introduce games that are "suitable for China's national conditions."

What that really means, according to Engadget"We'll likely see many censored PlayStation games over there (and also fewer games in general), plus our guess is that the consoles might not even be compatible with games released in other countries."

Still, Bloomberg reports China's video game industry is expected to generate about $10 billion next year. But not everyone is convinced.

There was a brief lift on the ban earlier this year. During that time, CNBC said: "They don't actually make any money on the consoles. It's far more about the sales of the video games."

And because piracy is a big issue in China, an analyst at Wedbush Securities tells Bloomberg:

Also, it's been 14 years since consoles were allowed in the country. Chinese gamers are used to cheaper — even free — online and mobile games. So shelling out hundreds for a PS4 might not be that attractive.

But with an estimated half a billion players, China is too big for console makers Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft to ignore.