When it was first announced that both Sony and Microsoft would finally be bringing their consoles to the Chinese market, many speculated that the companies would be growing their fan base massively. Published predictions from asian games market research firm, Niko Partners, show data that points to relatively low sales for both consoles.
Niko estimates that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, combined, won’t reach higher sales than 550,000 units in 2015. The Chinese market is very attractive market, with 1.35 billion people and a thriving middle-class. The Xbox One launched into China in September, but Microsoft has already had to cut the price by the equivalent of over $100 to push sales. The PlayStation 4 had a two month delay in its release. Another glaring issue with the console sales is the absence of major software titles, such as Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty due to mature content restrictions.
Before last year, China had a 14-year ban on consoles, which led to the growth in popularity of PC gaming throughout the country. Pulling gamers away from their PCs will not be an easy task. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are competing in a market where they have no history or brand-loyalty. These consoles just haven’t been a part of Chinese life for the most part. Also, many imported consoles are available on a not-entirely-legal basis. These consoles tend to run cheaper than the official price, so sales figures are diluted even further.