Sony's PlayStation Coming To China
Sony (NYSE: SNE) is ready to release a game console in China.
According to market intelligence and consulting firm Marbridge Consulting, Sony President and CEO Kazuo Hirai has confirmed that the company will bring its game console business to China.
The company will begin by establishing a "reliable network of sales channels and service partners," the report claimed.
Sony is not the first foreign company interested in bringing video games to China. In September Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) announced a partnership with Shanghai media giant BesTV. The two firms will develop a streaming entertainment device for the Chinese market.
It is not yet known what device Sony may bring to (or specifically develop for) China. The company could release its most recent console, PlayStation 3, at a discounted rate to lure new Chinese customers. While the console was available for import on the black market, PlayStation 3 and other gaming devices were legally banned from China roughly 13 years ago.
At the time, the newest console was PlayStation 2, Sony's second game machine. Even without the Chinese market, it went on to sell 157.6 million units -- the most of any gaming device.
Chinese consumers have also missed out on an official domestic release of PlayStation Portable, PS Vita, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, GameCube, Wii, Wii U, Xbox and Xbox 360.
Any one of those consoles could be released in China, though some of them (such as GameCube, the original Xbox and PlayStation 2 in some territories) are no longer being manufactured.
Now that Sony and Microsoft have announced plans to enter the Chinese gaming market, Nintendo (OTC: NTDOY) is likely to follow suit with a plan of its own. The company's latest console, Wii U, is struggling in the United States, Europe and Japan. Chinese consumers are unlikely to make up the difference, but it could help fill in the void while Nintendo develops additional games -- or a Wii U replacement.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer of Benzinga. You can reach him at louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him @LouisBedigianBZ
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