Sony to Bring PlayStation 4 to China
Following a decision by Chinese officials earlier this year to temporarily lift the country's ban on foreign gaming consoles, it's been thought that Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo would be chomping at the bit to get their devices into the country's giant market.
Microsoft was the first to announce the availability of its Xbox One console late last month: 'In China, there are over half a billion gamers, so the opportunity to create globally and locally created content to delight millions and millions of gaming families everywhere is something that we're really passionate about,' said Microsoft's Yusuf Mehdi in a video accompanying the announcement.
Sony, finally, has decided to follow suit. While there's no video to accompany the announcement (yet), Engadget reports that Sony will be working in collaboration with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Culture Development (OPCD) to bring the PlayStation 4 to Chinese gamers.
The partnership between Sony and Shanghai-based OPCD will result in the creation of two brand-new companies: Sony Computer Entertainment (Shanghai), which will likely handle PlayStation services and the sales, licensing, and distribution of PlayStation software. Sony China will own 70 percent of that company, and but a mere 49 percent of the second company that the two will be creating: Shanghai Oriental Pearl Sony Computer Entertainment Culture Development, which will presumably handle the manufacturing and sales of the PlayStation 4 console itself.
That all said, Chinese gamers shouldn't get too excited about the premise of Sony's and Microsoft's consoles coming to China. That's mostly due to the fairly comprehensive content rules that China has imposed on the very games that these consoles will be running.
Per China's rules, this content has to be approved by the 'culture department in charge,' which presumably means Shanghai's government culture department. While the approval process will be short — 20 days or fewer for a given title — that doesn't mean that the list of banned content isn't all that thorough.
As reported by the blog Games in Asia last month, banned content includes: anything related to gambling; anything that violates China's constitution, national unity, reputation, or religious policies; and anything that promotes obscenity, drug use, or violence, to name a few topics.
China originally banned video game consoles in 2000, in a move designed to protect Chinese children from ' wasting their minds.'