Although the international version of Steam has been available in China for years, an official Chinese release of the popular PC gaming platform has now debuted (via analyst Daniel Ahmad). If Chinese gamers needed more reason to celebrate, Sony also announced that the PlayStation 5 will be coming to the country soon.
The Chinese version of Steam currently has only around 40 titles available, with another 10 or so listed coming soon. Included in that list are, of course, Valve’s own e-sports titles Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2. The service is coming a long time ̵
However, the global version has always had the risk of being shut down at any time by the government, as it contains games that have not been officially approved. According to an interview with Eurogamer, Valve’s official Chinese client will only include games that have gone through the official approval process, although the company expects the global version to remain available alongside the official one.
For Chinese gamers who prefer consoles, Sony plans to launch PlayStation 5 in the second quarter of 2021 – although it remains to be seen whether the launch will be plagued with stock problems seen in the rest of the world. So far, only a handful of modern consoles have been officially released in the country, as they were banned from 2000 to 2015. PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch all got Chinese versions, but it looks like the PS5 may be the first next generation console officially arrives, as Microsoft has not yet announced plans to bring the Xbox Series X and S consoles to the country.
Sony China has confirmed that it plans to officially launch PlayStation 5 in China in the second quarter of 2021.
Tatsuo Eguchi, President of SIE Shanghai and Soeda Takehito, Deputy Chairman, confirmed the new one today in a special greeting video from Chinese New Year. pic.twitter.com/nhFzbZQTGx
– Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) February 8, 2021
For both Steam and Sony, it’s a big deal to have another billion plus customers available to buy their products. However, some developers based in China are less enthusiastic and worry that the Chinese government may block the global version of Steam now that an official version exists. This will obviously lead to less access for players, and make it more difficult for Chinese developers to share their games with the world.