The PlayStation 4 was supposed to launch in China on January 11, according to a report Thursday. If the news of a console launch being delayed in the country sounds familiar, it’s because the Xbox One suffered from the same hiccup last year.
Sony put part of the blame for the delay on “prolonged negotiations with Chinese authorities, according to a Reuters report. A new launch date for the PlayStation 4 has not been announced yet, and there is no word on whether the launch of the PS Vita handheld was also affected.
The PS4 was to sell for 2,899 yuan ($467) in China. That’s slightly more than the $400 price of the console in the United States. The PS Vita’s price has been set as 1,299 yuan.
The Xbox One launched in China on September 29, 2014 for 3,699 yuan. That was after a brief delay from its original September 23 release date as reported by the Inquisitr. Coincidentally, that delay announcement also came just three days prior to the scheduled launch.
No official reason was ever given behind the Xbox One delay, but there was speculation that it could be due to regulatory investigation into Microsoft at the time. However, Sony does not appear to be under the same kind of scrutiny.
This will be the second time that Sony has attempted to bring a home gaming console to the China market. The company originally tried to launch the PlayStation 2 in China in 2003. The Chinese Ministry of Culture banned the console just ahead of its launch. It was eventually released in 2004 with only 10 games that had to be approved by government regulators. Unsurprisingly, Sony pulled out of the country in 2005. Kotaku has a translation of a Chinese Netease article covering the PS2 release saga in the country for those interested in reading the full details for themselves.
You may ask yourself why Sony and Microsoft are so intent on putting out game consoles in China if dealing with regulators in the country is such a hassle. China is the third largest-gaming market with revenues that hit $15 billion, as Reuters noted. There’s potential for growth, but also plenty of established competition as well.
PC gaming and mobile games have naturally dominated the Chinese gaming landscape in the absence of home consoles. In fact, Activision is launching a PC only version of Call of Duty called Call of Duty Online for the market later this month.
Meanwhile, the console gaming market will be much more heavily regulated than any of what are generally considered strict markets such as Germany or Australia. Sony is going through the process of trying to get 30 games past censors. The Xbox One still has only 10 titles available in the country due to censorship restrictions.
What do you think of the PlayStation 4 delay in China? Are Sony and Microsoft right to try and market their consoles in a country where regulations and censorship only increase the cost of doing business? Sound off in the comments below.