Sony is ringing in the new year with a new market for its latest console series, as it prepares to launch the PlayStation 4 and PS Vita in China.
The PlayStation 4 will go on sale in China for 2,899 yuan, which is approximately $468 USD. The PS Vita will sell for 1,299, which converts to roughly $210 USD.
The lifting of China's 14-year-long ban on video game consoles has given Sony and Microsoft access to a gaming market that generated $14 billion in revenue in 2013, all on the backs of PCs and mobile games. But while the ban is lifted, China is still moderating the market with unbending regulations.
China has banned over 40 popular video gaming titles, deeming them a threat to the country's security. Some of the banned titles include Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Battlefield 4, a game in which China is provoked into a third world war with Russia and the U.S.
During a briefing, Takehito Soeda, head of the PlayStation business in China, says Sony will work to bring the PlayStation experience to China as best as it can as the company prepares for the Jan. 11 launch.
"Sony will try its best to offer Chinese customers a PlayStation consistent with its global offerings, and compliant with government regulations," said Soeda.
Nintendo also plans to enter China now that the console ban has been lifted. But the Mario maker doesn't want to merely transplant its products into the massive market.
"We want to make new things, with new thinking, rather than a cheaper version of what we currently have," said Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata. "The product and price balance must be made from scratch."
Microsoft has gotten off to a fast start in China, as the Xbox One launched in the People's Republic back on Sept. 23 at a $700 price point -- the Kinect-less version was offered at $600.
The Xbox One arrived in China with Forza Motorsport 5: Racing Game of the Year, Kinect Sports Rivals, Powerstar Golf, Zoo Tycoon and Max: The Curse of Brotherhood as launch titles. As for new titles, at least one game development company in China has already lined up several titles to release in the newly opened market.
"We have three studios working on Xbox games including Neverwinter Online, Celestial Sword and Project X and we can't wait for Xbox fans in China to get their hands on them," said Robert Xiao, CEO of Beijing Perfect World, adding: "Offering unlimited possibilities to developers, the launch of Xbox One in China will help take the game development industry to a whole new level."