Sony said on Friday that it will launch the PlayStation 5 in India on February 2, suggesting improvements in the supply chain network that was severely impacted last year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Japanese firm said it will begin taking pre-order requests for the new gaming console in India, the world's second-largest internet market, on January 12. The console will be available for pre-order from a number of retailers, including Amazon India, Flipkart, Croma, Reliance Digital, Games the Shop, Sony Center and Vijay Sales, the company said.
The PlayStation 5 is priced at Indian rupees 49,990 ($685), while the digital edition of the console will sell at Indian rupees 39,990 ($550). Xbox Series X, in comparison, is priced at $685 in India, and Xbox Series S sells at $480. Both the consoles launched in India in November.
However, much like elsewhere in the world, Microsoft has been struggling to meet the demand for the new Xbox consoles in India. The Xbox Series X is facing so much shortage in the country that it's not even easy to locate its page on Amazon India.
The announcement today should allay concerns of loyal PlayStation fans, some of whom -- including, of course, yours truly -- secured a unit from the gray market at a premium in recent months after India was not included in the first wave of nations for the PS5. Fans have also been frustrated at Sony and its affiliated partners for not offering clarification or providing conflicting accounts about the probable launch of the new gaming console in recent months.
In November, Sony suggested that it had delayed the launch of the PS5 in India due to local import regulations. Game news site The Mako Reactor reported earlier this week that Sony is unlikely to offer warranty and after-sales support for PlayStation 5 accessories in India -- as has been the case for several previous generations.
India is not yet a big market for full-fledged gaming consoles. According to industry estimates, Sony and Microsoft sold only a few hundred thousand units of their previous-generation consoles in the country. Thanks to the proliferation of affordable Android smartphones and the world's cheapest mobile data tariffs, tens of millions of Indians have embraced mobile gaming in recent years.