Sony to enter China gaming market with PlayStation 4, Vita
The game console will cost about $468 in China, and the company says it has already signed up 70 third-party software developers to create games.
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Until earlier this year, console gaming had been banned in China for nearly 15 years. The government once argued that console gaming would hurt children and would therefore not allow it. However, the move was viewed by some critics as a way to keep non-China-based companies out of the potentially profitable market, since other forms of gaming, including free-to-play online titles, have been available.
After lifting the ban on console gaming earlier this year, Microsoft was first to make the move into China. Under the country's laws, foreign companies that want to deliver a console to China must at least form a joint venture with a China-based company. Microsoft, which released the Xbox One in September in China, partnered with Shanghai Media Group subsidiary BesTV to handle the launch and distribution of its console.
Sony has been required to sign a similar deal to distribute the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in China. Sony opted to partner with China-based Shanghai Oriental Pearl Culture Development to form two joint ventures. The first, Sony Computer Entertainment (Shanghai) will handle hardware distribution, while the other, Oriental Pearl Culture Development, will take care of software licensing.
Sony has so far signed up 70 third-party software developers, including 26 based in China, and will also create its own games. China has, however, been clear that it won't take kindly to violent games or anything it deems unsuitable, so actually getting games approved may prove difficult.
Sony did not immediately respond to a request for comment.