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Microsoft made headlines recently for signing a deal with BesTV to distribute and sell Xbox One home console units in China starting this September. With the new Kinect-less SKU prepping to launch in just a few weeks, this could have a huge impact on the way the console war unfolds – assuming they can move the 100,000 SKUs with ease and prep to manufacture and sell more within a timely manner.
Not to be left in the dust, Sony has managed to establish a joint venture under the Sony China Co., with a wholly owned subsidiary called the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group, as noted in a translated post on NeoGaf from the foreign disclosure agreement.
As written on DualShockers...
“The two companies formed will be Shanghai Oriental Pearl Solatube Culture Development Co., Ltd., the capital of which will be formed by a 51% investment from Shanghai Oriental Pearl (RMB 5.1 million) and a 49% investment from Sony China (RMB 4.9 million). Sony will invest 70% of the capital of the second company (RMB 3,066 million), which will be named Sony Computer Entertainment ( Shanghai ) Co., Ltd., while Shanghai Oriental Pearl will pinch in the remaining 30% (RMB 1,314 million).”
This would effectively give Sony some measure of leverage for moving PS4 units throughout the Shanghai free trade zone, however they fail to disclose any details about when the units will go on sale or within what time frame.
Given that Microsoft is aiming for a September release (and a very moderate 100,000 SKUs to be sold), I would imagine Sony would want to get an equal amount (or more) of PS4s out into the Mainland marketplace of China to keep the competition fresh.
What's more is that Microsoft has strategically placed the launch of their Chinese units in line with the launch of the Xbox One in second-tier countries.
Of course, given that this was taken from a website without Sony officially announcing this first, this could be an elaborate hoax, just like that article on Kotaku about that guy who manufactured all those rumors for Fallout 4. I mean, hey, it's the internet... anything is possible with a little linguistic knowledge, a few spare bucks and the willingness to troll. And hey, if you take those basic concepts and extrapolate them with advertising dollars and national recognition, you turn small time trolling into full blown Fox News.
Given the long-running feuds between China and Japan, I'm sure a lot of gamers are fascinated to see how well Sony – a Japanese company – manage success with the PS4 (and potentially other PlayStation branded devices) over in China. Will they adopt it lovingly? Will they reject it like the Japanese have rejected the Xbox brand? All these questions and more will be answered in the next episode of “The Chinese Console Connection”.
We'll keep you posted as to when Sony plans on releasing the PS4 in mainland China. So far, the only one who has yet to announce any definitive plans for a release in China is Nintendo... even though they're probably the only company who can easily sell software units that fit within China's 10 rules of censorship.