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PlayStation5 To Launch In China In Q2: Why The Move Is Significant In Historically Rough Market

·2 min read

Sony Corp.’s (NYSE: SNE) next-gen gaming console, the PlayStation5, is launching in China in the second quarter of this year, subsidiary Sony Interactive Entertainment’s officials confirmed Monday.

What Happened: The news was first shared by Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad on Twitter.

Ahmad noted that the approval for the PS5 hardware from Chinese authorities had come back in December.

According to the analyst, the PS5 to be launched will be the “official Mainland China version,” and will likely carry an online services region lock.

Why It Matters: China scrapped a 15-year old ban on the sale of gaming consoles in the country in 2015, as reported by the Wall Street Journal at the time.

Sony’s PS4 consoles launched in China in March 2015, after seeing an initial international launch in 2013. PS5 launched internationally in November last year, but China wasn’t on the list of countries.

China heavily regulates the gaming industry. Sony temporarily suspended the PlayStation Store in mainland China in May 2020, without giving a timeline, Reuters reported.

The company said at the time the suspension was over "system security upgrade" but it came amid reports of users in the country being able to circumvent China's restrictions on downloading unlicensed games by switching to overseas services.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) is yet to make an announcement regarding the launch of its next-gen consoles in the country.

Sony reported selling 4.5 million PS5 units in 2020. There has been overwhelming demand for the consoles and the company has struggled to keep up the supply.

Price Action: Sony shares closed 0.87% lower at $115.62 on Monday.

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