Today, Sony published a brief announcement explaining that an “unsuitable environment” led to the postponement of the system’s release, but offered no new date or detailed explanation for the delay.
The PS2 was meant to see release in major urban areas in China by Christmas, after previous delays held off the system’s release earlier in the year. Sony planned to follow the console’s release with approximately three Chinese-localized game titles per month.
Fear of game piracy, however, has long been a stumbling block to Japanese console manufacturers seeking to enter the Chinese market. Though Sony did not cite any particular reason for its decision, that’s a likely culprit.
Nintendo dodged the piracy issue with its recently-released China-only iQue console by keeping complete control over its game distribution system. Consumers download iQue games directly from special download kiosks to memory cards for the console, making it more difficult for users to illegally copy them.
As Sony continues its troubled effort to crack the Chinese market, we’ll follow any further developments.