Sony launched PlayStation 5 sales in China. The rival Xbox Series S and X haven’t released yet
Sony today began official sales of the PlayStation 5 in China. The optical drive version of the set-top box is priced at 3899 yuan ($ 602), the digital one without a floppy drive is priced at 3099 yuan ($ 478). Since April 29, pre-orders are accepted on the console in the country. They will arrive in Chinese retail on May 15.
Selling game consoles in the Celestial Empire was allowed in 2014, after a 14-year ban on selling such products in the country. Deprived of consoles, users first switched to PC and then to mobile gaming, which became dominant in the local market.
The country still has strict restrictions on the launch of new and, in particular, foreign games and bureaucratic difficulties that hinder the development of the game console market. That is why the PlayStation 5 console, launched in November last year for international sale, has reached the Celestial Empire only now. Compensated for the lack of consoles, the “gray” market imported them to mainland China from Hong Kong and Japan. The sale of such consoles was carried out through various electronic platforms, often at a significantly inflated cost. Actually, dealers raged around the world.
“The demand for PS5 in China has been high since its international release in November 2020. Console players in China, who did not wait for the official release of the set-top box in the country, had to overpay almost twice the recommended cost for purchasing a device from abroad, “ Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad quoted the CNBC news outlet as saying.
China has strict rules for the release of games. Before release, game projects must pass an expert government review. According to Sony, three games will be available for the console at the PS5 launch in China: Sackboy, Ratchet, and Clank, as well as Genshin Impact. The latter is a viral worldwide open-world action-adventure multiplayer game created by local Chinese developer miHoYo Limited. For Chinese subscribers of the PlayStation Plus service, 12 PS4 games will also be available on the new PS5.
Microsoft, which also launched its next-gen Xbox Series X and Series S game consoles internationally last November, is also planning to launch them in China. However, the American manufacturer has not yet decided when this will happen. The consoles themselves received approval for launch from Chinese regulators at the end of last year.
According to Niko Partners, the revenue of the Chinese gaming market in 2020 exceeded $ 40 billion. Most of this profit came from mobile gaming. The share of consoles in this indicator was only 2%. “Consoles are still a niche product in China. Mainly due to bureaucratic barriers, the high cost of consoles, and the lack of games aimed at Chinese players. If Sony can solve these problems, it can succeed in this market, “ – commented the launch of the PS5 analyst Niko Partners.