Sony’s eighth-generation PlayStation 4 reached China on Friday, even though the console’s game library is significantly limited. The device’s online service is also somewhat sparse, as Sony attempts to sidestep stringent censorship regulations in the world's most populous country.
The PlayStation 4 doesn’t have access to music, movies and television shows, and there’s currently a library of only six games approved by Chinese authorities. Chinese players won’t have access to games like “Grand Theft Auto V” and “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare,” two of the most popular games of 2014.
The PlayStation 4’s content must also comply with Chinese restrictions on violent, political and sexual content.
The release of Sony’s console follows a delay that lasted more than two months. The PlayStation 4 and handheld PlayStation Vita were scheduled to reach China on Jan. 11, but the launch was held up due to “various factors,” the Japanese company said in a statement in early January. At the time, Sony didn’t reveal when the console would be available, but a Sony source in China told Reuters that “prolonged negotiations” with Chinese authorities were to blame for the delay.
Microsoft’s Xbox One is already available in China, the first to go on sale after the country lifted its 14-year console ban last September.
Originally, Microsoft planned to launch a different version of the Xbox One in China that was priced higher than the U.S. version. Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, also was collaborating with 25 Chinese developers to release more than 70 titles for the console. However, the company missed its scheduled Sept. 23, 2014, release date and launched the device Sept. 29. It sold only 100,000 units in its first week -- lackluster sales for a country with more than 1.35 billion people.
The PlayStation 4 is priced at about 2,899 yuan ($467). Sony was in licensing discussions for 30 games in China and a number of special bundles such as “Dynasty Warriors 8,” “Rayman Legends,” “Knack” and “Trials Fusion.”