Last Friday, the PlayStation 4 launched in China after several delays from its original release date of January 11. While the console has been available in China through the grey market for some time, it’s the first time a Sony game console has ever legally been accepted there.
And even though the PS4 in China has only six games available for the system at launch, many companies there such as Macquarie Research‘s Damian Thong and team are hammering the fact into their following base that the system will sell better than Microsoft’s Xbox One because it leaves room for players to cross the Great China Firewall:
As observed by media reports, the PS4 does not seem to be 100% region-locked the way the Xbox One is. China Xbox One consoles cannot play foreign Xbox One game disks (and vice-versa – foreign consoles cannot play China disks), download foreign games or connect to foreign servers. In contrast, China’s PS4s can play foreign game disks, connect to foreign servers, download game patches from servers abroad, and seems at least partly integrated to the global PlayStation Network – i.e. China owners can add as friends PSN members from abroad.
Also overseas consoles can play China PS4 game disks, download patches from China servers and log into China PSN accounts. As such, while the authorities can choose at any time to clamp down if they believe developments are unsatisfactory, China’s PS4 buyers can secure in the grey market games already released in Hong Kong, and upcoming titles such as Bloodborne (release: 24 March 2015).
All this has led to a significant rise in Sony’s stock value, their ADR rising 35.7% thanks to the success of the PS4 around the globe. Meanwhile Microsoft has been significantly outplayed by their gaming console rival in the stock market, falling 7.7 %.
More and more investors are beginning to put faith into Sony to drive the gaming industry forward. Do you as consumers feel Sony is living up to that expectation? Let us know in the comments below.