A new front has opened up in the console wars. Sony announced that its PlayStation 4 console will launch in China on January 11th — four months after Microsoft’s Xbox One arrived in the country. However, this new market will be tough to crack, with both companies having to contend with censors vetting every game as well as the country’s engrained PC gaming culture, the product of a 14-year ban on foreign gaming consoles.
Each PS4 game will have be approved by the censors before going on sale
A spokesperson for Sony told Reuters that the company had already applied for licenses for 30 titles and that several had already been approved. The Xbox One by comparison has 10 games on offer in China, although the majority of these are sporting titles that were unlikely to ever offend the ruling party’s cultural standards. Some of the consoles’ best-selling titles — like the violent and frequently explicit Grand Theft Auto V — aren’t predicted to be as well-received.
Sony’s PS4 will go on sale in China for slightly more than US retail price at 2,899 yuan (around $468). Microsoft pitched their rival device even higher, putting the Xbox One on sale for 3,699 yuan (about $568). Although exact sales figures for the Xbox aren’t known, reports in October suggested that as many as 100,000 devices had been sold in the first week, with the company looking to hit one million in sales by October 2015. Meanwhile, outside of China, Sony has taken a firm lead, currently boasting around 13.5 million consoles sold compared to Microsoft’s 10 million.