The Chinese can finally legally buy game consoles, but they are being a bit slow about it.
A report by Niko Partners, which specializes in Asian games market intelligence, says that it expects only 550,000 total PlayStation 4 and Xbox One systems to sell in China in 2015. However, this market research does state that sales will improve if the prices for the systems drop and if more triple-A games become available in the region. China relaxed restrictions last year that prevented game systems from selling in the country. This resulted in the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One becoming available in China.
Niko expects TV-based gamers, which it defines as anyone who games on a console or a smart TV, to grow to 27 million by 2019. Chinese revenue from consoles, console games, and smart TV games are expected to hit $654 million in 2015, rising to $3.0 billion by 2019.
“Despite China being a predominantly PC online gaming culture, Chinese who are now 26 to 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,” said Lisa Cosmas Hanson, the managing partner and founder of Niko Partners, in the report. “These gamers will drive adoption of ‘over-the-top’ (OTT) 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 center.”
Niko says that smart TV gaming is more likely to succeed in china over console gaming because of the lower price and the casual nature of its games.