Sony is joining forces with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Culture Development (OPCD) to launch PlayStation products in China, according to a statement filed with the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
The statement does not clarify which PlayStation products will officially launch in China or when. The announcement does state, according to a translation by Engadget, that the venture "will introduce quality, healthy games that are suitable to China's national conditions and the preferences of domestic players, as according to the relevant government policies."
Sony and OPCD will partner to form two companies operating in Shanghai's free trade zone. One will oversee hardware manufacturing and sales, and the second will manage services, sales, licensing, distribution and software R&D. Ownership of the newly formed Sony Computer Entertainment (Shanghai) will be owned by Sony China and Shanghai Oriental Pearl Sony Computer Entertainment Culture Development, split 70 and 49 percent, respectively.
Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia opened a new internal group in April called the China Strategy Department. The department will be headed by Takehito Soeda, who was appointed vice president of China business strategy within Sony Computer Entertainment Japan Asia in December.
The Chinese government recently lifted the console ban, allowing foreign firms to produce and sell hardware within the established Shanghai Free Trade Zone. Following the announcement, Microsoft revealed its plans to team up with Chinese entertainment business BesTV to launch the Xbox One in China in September. As noted by Sina Tech and Bloomberg, BesTV and OPCD are both owned by Shanghai Media Group. It will be the first time a console from a foreign company has legally been available for sale in the country since 2000.
Bloomberg reported earlier this year that Chinese telephone network equipment maker ZTE Corp and online game developer The9 Ltd. are partnering to produce and launch the Fun Box gaming console in China. Recently, Nintendo's president Satoru Iwata told Bloomberg in an interview that it plans to develop and releasenew game devices to "emerging markets" beginning next year.