Business / Review

A close look at Sony's game console PlayStation 4


Wang Jingjing and Liu Zheng

Updated: 2015-07-01 13:13


Sony Corp debuted its game console PlayStation 4 in 2013, and started selling the Chinese version on March 20 this year.

The Chinese version priced at 2,899 yuan ($468) for the base package and 3,299 yuan for consoles that come with a camera, the PlayStation Eye.

It is the second foreign console that was allowed to enter Chinese market after Microsoft launched its Xbox One in late September last year. The central government lifted the ban on game consoles in the domestic market in 2013.

The Chinese market has welcomed the launch as a report has calculated that 73,112 units were shipped by April 30, in comparison with 71,073 Xbox Ones, according to, a domestic technology website.

In competing with Sony, Microsoft has announced it will adjust the price of its Chinese version Xbox One on May 21. The console without Kinect, a somatosensory device that enables users to control and interact with their console through a natural user interface using gestures and spoken commands, will be cut from 3699 yuan ($596) to 2999 yuan, and the console with Kinect will be reduced from 4299 yuan to 3799 yuan.

We at China Daily have received a review device of the Chinese version of PS4 from Sony Corp. As one of the selected media outlets to spend time with this game console, we present an exclusive hands-on review of this device.

Besides the black hardware including a console player, a joystick and an eye camera, there are also four game discs that can be installed and two cards with identical numbers that could be used to download the games from Sony's online store.

Game library

A close look at Sony's game console PlayStation 4

Screenshot of the games which can be downloaded or purchased on the online PlayStation Store. [Photo/]

Compared with more than 200 titles provided in Japan, the Chinese version only provides six sanctioned games, including two exclusive games, Driveclub, Knack's Adventure and another four hot selling games: King of Wushu, Mr. Pumpkin Adventure, Guilty Gear and Shin SangokuMusou7.

Although Sony's game library has limited titles in China, the console can play game discs bought anywhere in the world, as the machine does not have a region lock.

The Xbox One launched in China, however, cannot play discs bought outside the Chinese mainland. An earlier Bloomberg report said that a recent Microsoft update removed the region lock, citing users on Chinese gaming websites.

"We're always updating the Xbox One system with new features and functionality globally and will continue to meet regulatory requirements in the markets we operate," Microsoft's Xbox spokesperson said through an email, when asked by on this upgrade issue.

"Xbox One was the first game console to launch in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and we worked diligently to meet the needs of our fans and the regulatory standards set forth by the government," said the company.

A close look at Sony's game console PlayStation 4

This picture shows the share functions of PS4. Users can share the screenshots on Facebook (left), Twitter (middle), or on the online social circle created by Sony. [Liu Zheng/]

Social media share functions

Foreign registered accounts cannot be used on the Chinese version of PS4, so users should register before playing the games.

With the share button on the joystick, screenshots and video clips of the game can be recorded. Gamers can share them on popular social media sites Facebook and Twitter, or share them on the social circle owned by Sony.

However, domestic gamers playing through the domestic network cannot use the share functions. The screenshots and video clips can be transferred through a USB interface.

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