Though it was originally scheduled to debut on January 11 in the sovereign state, Sony has opted to postpone the release of the PlayStation 4 in China following a request from the country’s government.
At the time of writing, the Japanese hardware giant is yet to announce a new release date for the system, nor whether its next of kin, the PlayStation Vita, will meet a similar fate — Sony’s handheld is due to arrive on January 11 as well.
In a statement provided to Reuters, the company cited “various reasons” for the last-minute delay, stating that it will update consumers when it has selected a new launch date for the current-gen hardware.
“The government asked us for final adjustments, which will take some time, so we decided to delay the launch date.”
It would appear that Sony has ran into trouble with China’s notoriously strict censorship laws. Back in September of last year, Microsoft launched the Xbox One in the country, but faced a similar fate when the government made a move to evaluate and approve certain, seemingly controversial software.
Both companies made a move for the Chinese market when the country overturned a fourteen year ban on foreign console hardware late last year. First put in place back in the year 2000, the law has curated the meteoric rise of PC gaming in China, and both Sony and Microsoft will have to compete with the platform if they are to find a foothold in the burgeoning market.
As of now, the PlayStation 4 won’t be releasing in China anytime soon. If history has taught us anything, it’s that foreign consoles have always struggled to carve out a niche of their own in the country, with the most recent example being the Xbox One after it sold a meagre 24,000 units in its first four days. Whether Sony will meet a different fate will ultimately depend on the amount of PS4 software tailored for a Chinese audience.