SCEJA Deputy President Oda Hiroyuki’s response is confusing.
Unless you are living under a rock, you must be aware that China has lifted its more than a decade old policy on banning sale of video game consoles and software. Since then Microsoft have launched Xbox One in the country and PS4 will launch next month. But will the PS4 be region locked in China just like the Xbox One?
Game Watch recently conducted an interview with SCEJA Deputy President Oda Hiroyuki to talk about the Chinese launch of the PlayStation 4 and in the interview he was asked about whether the PS4 will be region free in China.
“Mr. Soeda talked about this today as well, but firstly now the market has been opened for console game import/manufacturing/sales in the Shanghai free trade zone. The Shanghai Culture Bureau holds the approval and license for sales of the console hardware, the first person who took the stage today was Mr. Kai. This bureau holds the authority to give permission for sales of consoles. We went to them and we wanted them to let us release PlayStation as a unified standard product globally, and they gave us sales permission, and the other day we received that sales permission, and that’s what the status is today, which I hope you can understand,” he said to Game Watch. [translated by Reddit User orfogw]
If you read Hiroyuki’s reply closely, he wants to sell the “PlayStation as a unified standard product globally.” Since the PlayStation 4 is not region locked in other countries, could this be a hint that the console will be unlocked in China as well? However, it’s also a possibility that Hiroyuki was perhaps talking in terms of features that are provided by the PlayStation 4 and not in terms of region lock. In short, Hiroyuki’s response is not clear.
Our take is that the PS4 will be region locked in the China given the country’s laws and policies. However it’s best not to jump to conclusions and wait for a few days to know how this pans out. We will keep you updated.