Sony has announced that its PlayStation 4 will finally go on sale in China at the end of next week. Back in December, the company said it planned to launch the console there on January 11; but just three days before that date, it said that the launch had been delayed indefinitely, although it did not offer any explanation for the hold-up.
Today, Sony revealed that the PS4 will, at long last, go on sale in China on Friday, March 20, and will also be joined by its PS Vita handheld. As Bloomberg reports, launch games in China will include Knack and Rayman Legends, among others, but many titles available in other markets will not go on sale in China.
The Chinese government maintains strict 'guidelines' regarding the sale of video games in the country, and only relaxed a complete ban on foreign consoles in 2013, after thirteen years in place. Like Microsoft - which launched its Xbox One in China back in September with ten 'non-violent' games - Sony has had to apply for permission from authorities in order to be able to sell the console, along with a limited set of games that do not conflict with the government's ideas of what is appropriate for its citizens.
It is believed that this complex approval process was responsible for the delay in the PS4's Chinese launch, but Sony has not confirmed this.
The PS Vita will cost 1,299 CNY (around $207 USD) when it launches in China next week, while the PlayStation 4 will be priced at 2,899 CNY ($463), considerably undercutting its Xbox One rival, which costs 3,699 CNY ($591).
Despite gaining a significant advantage over the PS4 by launching its Xbox One in China much earlier - almost six months ago - Microsoft's console already seems to be struggling there. Strong sales in its first weeks on sale apparently tailed off, leading to the company's Chinese partner reporting a loss on its Xbox One sales just ten days ago.