Next-gen console fever has yet to infect Chinese gamers, it seems. Games Industry reports that numbers from analyst Niko Partners suggest that between them PS4 and Xbox One will by the end of the year reach a combined unit sales number of just 550k.
The Chinese government lifted the ban on sales of foreign games consoles in January 2014, although a strict set of rules closely controls what content can and cannot be released for such devices. Xbox One arrived in the region in September 2014 and the PS4 in March of this year.
Both machines (Xbox and PlayStation) were subject to delays prior to their arrival, however. Nintendo has reportedly abandoned its own plans to follow its rival into the region.
The best hope of an improvement to the current struggles, Niko says, is for the cost of the hardware to be lowered and for China’s cultural office to approve more triple-A games for release.
The best numbers, it says, will come from the set-top box and Smart TV sector, which it predicts will overtake consoles by 2019 thanks to its lower cost barrier and more family-orientated software offer. It predicts that combined the two sectors could generate revenues of $654m by the end of the year and climb to $3bn by 2019.
"Despite China being a predominantly PC online gaming culture, Chinese who are now 26-35 years old grew up in the days of Nintendo Super Famicom consoles and are accustomed to playing games with a controller via a TV,” Niko MD Lisa Cosmas Hanson said.
“These gamers will drive adoption of games played on Smart TVs as well as the use of game consoles, and thus will begin the transformation of the living room to entertainment centre."
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