Niko forecasts that console gaming in China is expected to grow steadily to $2.15 billion in 2024. Sony is the market leader, but the Nintendo Switch is quickly closing ground, said Niko partners president Lisa Cosmas Hanson said in an email to GamesBeat.
The total number of console gamers in China hit 11 million in 2019, and that is expected to grow to 19.1 million in 2024. Even so, console software sales are still about 1% of total game software revenue in China.
Cosmas Hanson said Sony’s PlayStation brand has always been strong in China, even during the console ban from 2000 to 2014, thanks to gray market imports. Sony also focus on a more localized experience with titles from Chinese developers. The Switch is doing well thanks to the popularity of Ring Fit Adventure and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Cosmas Hanson said gray market sales of Switch software are also strong.
As for the next-generation consoles, demand isn’t as big as it is in the West, but a discerning group of gamers wants high-quality games and sees the new consoles as an option.
“Neither of the next-generation consoles will be available in China this year (officially) but gray market imports always can be found in shops throughout the country,” Cosmas Hanson said. “Hardware and software prices continue to be barriers to the mainstream success of consoles in China. That being said, Chinese gamers are interested in playing triple-A titles that are available on consoles, and this has led to an increase in premium game sales on PC.”
EDIT: Original NL article had some misquotes, decided to post the original text instead.
Note that only 17% of Chinese gamers own a console and console software sales are just 1% of total game software revenue in China...