Recent footage from a PlayStation Store in China shows what appear to be standing Mario characters, making it quite a funny and unusual sight.
Playstation It has grown steadily in China, and many people finally have the opportunity to experience the brand’s vast library of titles. People can buy products from physical PlayStation stores, but the decorations for one seem to have confused the console maker it should be promoting.
Video games in China have a long and painful history with countless bans and regulations on a hobby that other parts of the world can enjoy much more freely. The Chinese government has great control over the country’s gaming industry, from developers and e-sports to games and content available, all of which are subject to strict regulations. Last year, the PS5 was finally released in China, bringing the highly limited console to the country several months after its original release to the rest of the world. Around the same time, Microsoft also released its Xbox Series X / S console variants in China, although it encountered restrictions similar to PlayStation’s.
A new image from Daniel Ahmad shows a Chinese PlayStation store with characters of Mario and Bowser standing outside its doors. Ahmad, a senior analyst at Niko Partners, generally covers the video game industry in China, having written extensively on the movements of Tencent, one of China’s largest video game developers, and many other landmark stories. They captioned the image from the PlayStation Store reading: “Unique decorations in front of this PlayStation Store in Guangzho, China”, with guests of Wedding Mario and Bowser from Super Mario Odyssey introducing the guests inside.
There is a certain degree of unspoken irony in the picture that those familiar with the history of PlayStation and Nintendo can capture. Before the Nintendo 64 and the original PlayStation, Sony approached Nintendo with its prototype disc console, suggesting that it could help the next generation of Nintendo hardware. As history would show, Nintendo dropped the offer, creating the cartridge-based Nintendo 64, while Sony would begin its gaming legacy with the original PlayStation. In the wild there are still units of the original proposal, simply called Super Nintendo PlayStation, which includes both a cartridge slot for SNES titles, as well as a disc drive for CD-ROMs.
With that in mind, putting some of Nintendo’s most iconic characters outside of a PlayStation store is pretty fun, like saying Nintendo is conceding PlayStation. Whether it’s intentional or some sort of surveillance, it’s currently unclear why these people are standing there. Nintendo is quite dominant in the video game market in China, so maybe Playstation uses Mario for its own free publicity.
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