As some of you may know, China has had a long running ban on the selling and distribution of consoles within its borders for quite some. So when we heard of the Xbox One and Playstation 4 making their way into Chinese borders, it was to many people’s delight.
China lifted their long-time ban on consoles, and opened themselves up and allowed Sony and Microsoft to sell their consoles to consumers in China. What was not expected, though, was that the consoles sold were region locked consoles, meaning they can only play Chinese region games.
This was to the confusion of many since the consoles that were given to Chinese reviewers were open region and able to play any game, yet the final product being sold came with a region lock. Especially since both Sony and Microsoft stated many times that their respective consoles were not going to region locked.
The blame quickly went to Microsoft and BesTV, a company located in Shanghai that deals with the provisional aspect of technical services, for the region locking of these consoles.
However, an unknown source who claimed to work for the Chinese government and had involvement with the process of approving these consoles for Chinese markets gave some information on the subject. Even though the process of region locking the consoles to be sold in China was done by Microsoft and BesTV, it was to the demand of the Chinese government that the region locking of the Xbox One and PS4 be done.
Sony also shun some light on the mystery by stating at a press event that although the consoles are global products, China still require certain specifications in order for them to be sold within its borders, deeming them to be global products with Chinese regulations.
Apple iPhones and Sony TVs are some of the other countless products sold within China that had to be tweaked in order to meet Chinese regulations, so the Xbox One and Playstation 4 are not alone in this.
Some other information on the subject arose in the form of an update from Sony. They released information saying the region locking of the Playstation 4 will soon be gone, and their PS Vita will also be introduced into Chinese market with a region lock.
No news yet on whether Microsoft’s region locked Xbox One will be receiving the same treatment, but if they want to remain competitive within China, and unlocking of their console will definitely help.