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Monday, May 26, 2014
PS4 To Enter The Chinese Market Through Sony JV

Sony's PS4 will debut in China through a joint venture of the Japanese company with China's Shanghai Oriental Pearl Group Co Ltd.

The Japanese company is setting up two joint ventures with local Chinese company Shanghai Oriental Pearl Culture Development, it said Monday. Both joint ventures, one focused on hardware and the other on software, will be established in a new free trade zone in Shanghai. China is allowing gaming console makers located in the zone to sell their systems to the rest of the country.

A Sunday stock exchange filing from Shanghai Oriental Pearl's parent company shows that Sony will have a 49 percent stake in one of the joint ventures, and a 70 percent stake in the other.

Sony confirmed the deals but did not provide further details.

China is a difficult market for games consoles, which were banned from 2000 until last January. Piracy and smuggling of consoles is part of the market, and local games developers and publishers typically offer games free and gest profit by selling in-game upgrades like extra lives and special weapons.

But Sony 's PlayStation 4's online game network service could the company avoid game piracy issues.

Sony sees the PlayStation 4 as the key driver of its network and streaming services business, Chief Executive Kazuo Hirai said on Monday.

Microsoft and its joint-venture partner BesTV New Media Co Ltd have already announced they would launch Microsoft's flagship Xbox One games console in China.

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