Sony launches its PS5 platform in China ahead of Xbox
The Sony platform goes up for sale on May 15 in China, with initial orders beginning April 29.
Official versions of the gaming platform in China have only been possible since 2014, after a 14-year ban on these products was lifted.
The ban has made personal computers, and now cell phones, the dominant forms of games among Chinese consumers.
Strict control laws and lengthy approval processes also mean that the platform makers have a more stringent task of officially releasing their products in China.
While the PS5 was launched globally in November 2020, it did not reach the Chinese market until months later.
This has led to the so-called gray market, where sellers often import platforms from Hong Kong and Japan and sell them via Chinese e-commerce sites at a high price.
Demand for the PS5 has been high in China since its launch outside the country in November 2020, and Chinese console gamers who can’t wait have had to pay nearly double the retail price if they want to import a platform from abroad, due to the product shortage and high demand that led to Rising prices.
The games also need to go through Chinese censorship, which means that some games may not be released in China if they annoy Beijing’s sensitivities.
Sony said the PS5 is launching with three games – Sackboy, Ratchet and Clank, and Genshin Impact – the latter being a hugely popular game from a Chinese developer.
Another Chinese game maker called Ultizero Games is introducing Lost Soul Aside to PS5.
More games from Chinese developers are supposed to make their way to the platform, in addition to Sony’s original games as well.
Chinese PlayStation Plus subscribers can also play 12 PS4 games as part of the subscription.
Nintendo launched the Nintendo Switch in 2019, working with Chinese tech giant Tencent to bring the device to market.
Tencent said in January: Nintendo shipped one million Nintendo Switch devices in China.
The PS5 faces competition from the Nintendo Switch in China, where the hybrid nature of the Nintendo Switch, social gaming features and high-quality software have helped it succeed in China.
Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S have not yet been launched in China, and Microsoft obtained safety approvals to release its devices in China at the end of last year, but the company did not mention when it would launch its devices in China.