Sony to launch Playstation 2 in China

Sony to launch Playstation 2 in China

Sony Computer Entertainment (SCEI) is planning to launch its PlayStation 2 console in China in late December.

The console will be launched in China on December 20, almost four years after it appeared in Japan. It will initially be put on sale in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Chengdu.

Sony (China) Ltd would then gradually expand sales to other regions, SCEI said.

The PlayStation 2 will cost $332, about $83 more than Sony charges for the console in Japan and the US.

Two games for the PlayStation 2 will go on sale the same day: Ape Escape 2, an action game, and ICO, an adventure game. Additional games for the Chinese market are under development by Bandai, Capcom, From Software, Koei, Konami, Namco, Sega and Taito, SCEI said.

Games destined for the Chinese market will carry the NTSC/C region code, and the Chinese console will only play games with this designation.

Region codes identify the television standard used, and indicate in which area the games are licensed for use. Similar codes are used on DVDs.

SCEI saidit created the NTSC/C region code for games to comply with the Chinese government's censorship laws and prevent the playing of games which might be approved for sale in Japan but not China.

Regarding its choice of NTSC video for the system in a country where the official broadcast TV standard uses the European PAL system, SCEI said dual-standard TV sets capable of handling both systems were common enough for it to present no problems to users.

The console will play DVDs marked region 6, China, or region 0, no regional coding. The console will also play audio CDs and DVD-R/RW (Video mode), DVD-RW (VR mode) and DVD+R/RW discs.

Sony's announcement of the launch of the PlayStation 2 in China comes shortly before Nintendo is expected to detail its plans for the launch of a handheld gaming device it has designed specially for the Chinese market.

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