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Sony PlayStation 4 set to enter China and challenge Xbox One

Sony's PlayStation 4 console might be leading in the sales war against the Xbox One, but the PS4 isn't resting on its laurels, with Sony having announced plans to enter the Chinese market.

According to a Bloomberg Businessweek report, Sony will make and sell the PS4 in China, forming two joint ventures with Shanghai Oriental Pearl (Group) Co. in which Sony will own a 70 per cent stake in one venture, and a 49 per cent stake in the other.

The move follows Microsoft's similar announcement at the end of last month, with Redmond set to push the Xbox One into the Chinese market come September, in partnership with with BesTV New Media Co (a subsidiary of Shanghai Media Group).

As we noted at the time, it was a major move for Microsoft in order to try and sell more consoles to catch the PS4 – and we expected Sony to follow suit swiftly, attempting to maintain its sales lead (in April, the company announced it had sold some 7 million PS4s). So this move is hardly surprising.

Back at the start of the year, China lifted a ban on foreign game consoles which had been imposed since the turn of the millennium (the country's government had asserted that such consoles could negatively affect the mental and physical health of youngsters, and therefore they weren't welcome).

So while gaming is popular in China, it's mostly a PC and smartphone-centric affair, which will leave Microsoft and Sony with their work cut out to establish market share. There is undoubtedly a potentially very lucrative untapped market here, though.

While Sony may be enjoying a rich vein of success with the PS4, on an overall level the company is still very much struggling – so it needs the console to forge ahead and make the absolute most of its advantage.

Microsoft is not standing still, either, with the recent announcement that it would decouple Kinect and the Xbox One, to allow for the console to be sold on its own, at a lower price to shift more units.