Following previous news on Sony Computer Entertainment‘s slow-but-steady entry into the Chinese gaming market, the company is pushing forward even further.
According to Business Week, the company has formed two ventures with the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group so that it can start creating and selling PlayStation consoles in China. The Shanghai Stock Exchange said that SCE will have a 70 per cent in one venture and 49 per cent in another. Sony CEO Kaz Hirai said that the PlayStation brand not only needs to expand its user base, it also needs to be maintain its main driver position for expanding the company’s network business.
It’s not a shocker that this is Sony’s retaliation towards Microsoft and Nintendo’s game plan for China, which is already a hotbed for mobile, PC and free-to-play gaming. The country’s gaming industry will generate US$10 billion in sales next year, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers prediction, though that may not necessarily mean the value will mostly come from consoles.
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UBS AG Analyst Ryosuke Katsura said that having Sony entering the China market can help broaden sales and can help the company avoid piracy issues. Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group Board Secretary Xu Xiaojun said that it can help Sony navigate the regulatory process for getting licenses. “This is a big market. We want to build a big culture and entertainment platform where we can utilise our traditional advantages in entertainment content.”
Sony has yet to comment on whether the PlayStation 4 will be on sale, or whether it will create a new console tailored for China markets. Sony also did not share the release date and sales price for the aforementioned consoles. In any case, the period of September and beyond will be a time everyone will keep watch on whether the China market will care or not about Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo’s regional efforts.