Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) is ready to navigate the murky waters of tight censorship rules in China having unveiled its lead gaming console, PlayStation 4. It remains to be seen the number of consoles Sony will sell in the country, given they have all along been available in the black market. During an interview with CNBC, Re/Code co-executive editor, Walt Mossberg, reiterated that it is a shame it took Sony so many years to tap into an important market of China’s quality.
The belated console war is set to heat up especially between Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) all of whom will love to tap into the expansive gaming marketplace. PlayStation now follows on the heels of Xbox one which was the first major foreign gaming console to be introduced on the mainland after the lifting of a 14-year ban on foreign video games
“Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) is a global company, and things that are not available in a country that is important as China is just a shame. I mean it’s not good for business, and I think it is not good for culture and all that stuff. [..] I think it is good to move it out of the black market and the grey market and all those stuff,” said Mr. Mossberg.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) will, however, have a lot to do in convincing gaming fanatics who have grew up with free-to-play titles on smartphones and computers that their consoles are the real deal. Sony who’s PlayStation utilizes cloud-based gaming services must also contend with China’s massive firewall of internet controls and restrictions on violent and sexual content.
Mossberg expects the lifting of the ban to go a long way in helping Sony boost its sales having faced headwinds on the mobile and the TV business. The console business has turned out to be a key source of revenue for the Japanese electronics company as it can also be used to stream content.
“If you look at Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) overall it is a company which has not made much progress in Mobile. They’ve got out of the PC business, their TV business I guess is doing better now but they went through a bad period with that. The steadiest performer for them has been this gaming console so getting into China; anyone getting their product into China is great for them,” said Mr. Mossberg.
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