Sony PS4 to Launch on March 20th in China

Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia (SCEJA) announced that more than two months after the planned launch, it will finally actually launch the PS4 and PS Vita in mainland China on March 20th. The company has not stated the actual reasons for the delay, but as Niko Partners wrote in last week’s Niko News we believe the reasons include a region-lock issue that the government was concerned with, as well as the hope that more content would be approved to go with the launch.

Whatever the issues were, they seem to be corrected at this time. PS4 is priced lower than Xbox One in China. The retail price for PS4 is 2899 RMB plus 380 RMB for a wireless controller and 180 RMB for a stand. Xbox One is 3649 RMB, even after lowering the price by 50 RMB a couple months ago. Niko Partners will publish China’s Console Hardware and Games Market Report in June, and at that time will track the PS4, Xbox One, and Android-based consoles (what we have called “console alternatives”), as well as any other entrants that may emerge in mainland China such as the device planned by Alibaba and the Nvidia Shield just announced last week (though not yet announced for launch in China).

Amazon Opens Store on Alibaba’s Tmall

Amazon opened up a store on Alibaba’s ecommerce marketplace, Tmall. This is interesting because Amazon and Alibaba are competitors although each with their own geographical dominance. If Alibaba were to open its Tmall in the West, it would be a direct competitor with Amazon. Amazon has some operations in China, but now also has a store within Alibaba’s site. Could this be so Amazon can get a closer look at what Alibaba is doing? We will keep a watch on the developments.

Nvidia Announces Shield Console

Nvidia announced Shield, a 4K Android-based console, last week in San Francisco. Remarks indicated that the product and the GRID game-streaming service have been tested in Taiwan. Perhaps this means that it will land in mainland China too, to compete against other top-end Android-based consoles and even the high end current generation Xbox One and PS4. The GRID service will serve Asia from servers in Japan, so if it were to launch in China the company would need to establish servers inside the great firewall. For now, it is just an exciting announcement that already has its sights on much of Asia for its strategic success.

Indonesia Government to Support Games

Indonesia is promoting growth of its domestic games development industry. A recent interview with Ms. Lolly Amalia Abdullah, Director for Cooperation and Facilitation in Directorate General of Media, Design, and Technology-based Creative Economy, in the Min