China’s Video-Game Smugglers Are Helping Sony’s PS4

Sony Corp.’s push to gain a foothold in China’s tightly controlled video-game market is getting help from an unlikely source: sellers of smuggled software.

When the PlayStation 4 went on sale in China after a 14-year ban on consoles was lifted, the government restricted Sony’s lineup to just six sanctioned games. By comparison, there are about 200 games for sale in Japan. That’s where Big Yao and Zhang Yang come in.

Yao’s shop in coastal Tianjin sells more than 40 PS4 titles, including banned games like Grand Theft Auto smuggled across the border from Hong Kong. The surreptitious availability of global blockbusters in China is good news for Sony, which relies on hit software to drive hardware sales and is trying to tap gamers in a market that may be worth $22 billion by 2017.

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eldingo1324d ago

australia has something similar to this operation its pretty cool if also dangerous.

MRMagoo1231323d ago

We have something like this in Australia ?

badz1491323d ago

this is nothing new. smugglers have been selling consoles since last gen. although the ban was there, the enforcement was not that strict to begin with. it was easy enough to find the PS3 and 360 there last gen if you know where to look for them. although it was already easy enough to get games from the open market Hong Kong, now with the ban lifted, it will just make things "official".

and I hate the term "smugglers" the article is using like they are some kind of crooked criminals or something! they just see that there is a market for the games not being sold there, they just imported them to sell them locally. same thing if you're living in other parts of the world importing foreign games from eBay. they are called importers, not smugglers!

3-4-51323d ago

6 sanctioned games ? really?

Gamer19821324d ago (Edited 1324d ago )

These guys have been anti Sony with every article on here so when I read this I take it that way. This is them basically saying if Sony win in China its because of smugglers helping them with games.

Back onto topic. This was bound to happen when you starve them of games freely available elsewhere especially in a country known for this kind of thing. This is no doubt why Sony left it longer to get console out so they could leave restrictions off for people to import games. Unlike the Xbox which is region locked at least the Chinese one. But that was because MS rushed the Chinese Xbox and pretty much took the first deal they could get. Microsoft patched it in later but once again this is MS messing up at launch and patching it later something they have been doing the entire generation.

FarEastOrient1324d ago

Game consoles isn't the only thing smuggled into China. (for example iPhones) Someone approved this article because it had gaming in the subject.

MasterCornholio1324d ago (Edited 1324d ago )

"These guys have been anti Sony with every article on here so when I read this I take it that way. This is them basically saying if Sony win in China its because of smugglers helping them with games."

If Song wins because of their system being region free I say that's a good thing. Because the success of a region free console in China might force Microsoft's hand to remove the region lock in the XB1. That in my opinion would be better for consumers.

"Microsoft patched it in later"

I thought that was just a rumor. If true then that's good for consumers.

MasterCornholio1324d ago

Well I have no issues with this if they are importing original copies of the game. Sure its against the rules of the government but Chinese gamers deserve to be able to play the same games that we do.

XanderZane1324d ago

Agree. The XB1 and PS4 systems and games were being smuggled into China before they even officially launched in that country. They smuggle a LOT of stuff in and out of China, so this is nothing new. I don't think they will ever have an accurate sales count for hardware or software because of all the smuggling. As long as gamers are benefitting, it's all good.

Nio-Nai1324d ago

If you haven't been to Hong Kong and can afford the trip go. I've been twice, and the country is a really cool place to visit. Also, loads of camera stuff, not many game stores though, I saw maybe 2 and they were pretty expensive. But all of the other stuff was priced pretty well, plus the atmosphere was nice. *the smell in some places not so much though*

Skate-AK1324d ago

I really want to go to Hong Kong someday. I have lived in Alaska for the last 19 years, since I was three. It would be such a huge culture shock and scenery change, I would love it. Only thing that scares me is that I am a very picky eater and am afraid that I won't eat anything they have there.

Nio-Nai1324d ago

They got mcds if you aren't interested in their food.

ScorpiusX1324d ago

Hate cheaters and those that think it's okay .
Hey china smuggler are mocking you ,do something about it already .

MasterCornholio1324d ago (Edited 1324d ago )

So your against the idea of gamers in China playing the same games that we do?

Your against the Chinese enjoying games like The Witcher 3, Batman Arkham Knight, Grand Theft Auto 5, Bloodborne, Metal Gear Solid 5 etc ?

Your just hating on Sony because they are giving Chinese consumers the ability to play banned games.

badz1491323d ago

what a prick! I meant that for castillo.

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