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Sony delays PlayStation launch in China

The PlayStation 4 was due to go on sale there this coming Sunday, but Sony is still negotiating with authorities.

The PlayStation controller -- and the console itself -- are still awaiting China's go-ahead. Sarah Tew/CNET

Don't press start just yet: the launch of Sony's PlayStation 4 in China is on hold.

The delay is due to "various factors", according to Sony, which is negotiating with Chinese authorities who are highly ambivalent toward gaming and require games to offer "quality and healthy" experiences for players.

The next-generation console was set to go on sale in China along with the portable PS Vita this coming Sunday. A new release date has yet to be named.

The PS4 would have been the first PlayStation to be sold in China after the state's long-running ban on games consoles was lifted last year. Today's news is a particular blow for Sony because the PlayStation's biggest rival, Microsoft's Xbox, launched with 10 games in China in September. Despite government censorship, China is the world's third-largest gaming market, with gamers spending $15 billion last year on PC, mobile and online games.

The PlayStation has seen some ups and downs lately. The PlayStation Network was hacked last month along with Xbox Live. In more upbeat news, the console celebrated its 20th anniversary in December, and the latest model, the PS4, this week marked 18.5 million unit sales in just over a year.

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