China could end decade-long ban on video game consoles

By on January 28, 2013, 12:00 PM

Chinese authorities are reviewing the possibility of lifting a ban on video game consoles that has been in place since 2000, according to the state-run China Daily. An anonymous source from the Chinese Ministry of Culture told the publication that government officials have "conducted some surveys" and talked with other ministries about "opening up" the game console market, but a final decision is yet to be reached.

The ban was originally put in place to protect the "physical and mental development" of China's youth. But it hasn’t exactly curbed gaming in the region considering online computer games are popular in China and the rise of smartphones have opened up new avenues for mobile video games. Consoles have also been available on the Chinese black market for years, which may be another reason to consider lifting the ban.

Shares for Nintendo and Sony were up today on the prospect of the world's most populous country officially opening up its borders to gaming console hardware. The timing couldn’t be better with the recent release of the Wii U and the expected launches of new PlayStation and Xbox systems later this year.

That said, China Daily’s source notes that since the ban was issued by seven ministries more than a decade ago, a reversal of that decision will need approval from all seven ministries in order to happen.




User Comments: 12

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1 person liked this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Boy, there's one gigantic market if China decides to do this. I'm sure Sony and Microsoft are licking their chops over this.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Banning consoles? I had no idea. That was a silly thing to do. Not only will the console maker be rubbing their hands with glee but it's also good for the Chinese market. Maybe the change of heart occurred when they discovered it was far more enjoyable playing games on their phones or handhelds than listening to some chump drone on during U.N. meetings. Either way it's a win/win for all.

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

LOL, videogames on the blackmarket

Never thought I would've heard that in my lifetime

Tygerstrike said:

Wait a second....Dont we have enough problems from the Chinese citizenship and hacking on PC's? Now we will have them in every consol game. Hacking and cheating even more then the Americans. No thank you. I had enough of Chinese gil/gold sellers to last me a lifetime. If this goes through Im 100% sure we will see the same level as we see on the PC.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

Damn. Just when I was staring to think Dust 514 was showing potential. Now SP farmers are going to be rampant!

There is a silver lining though. All those people who play CoD on the consoles? They're going to find out how real professionals run up KDRs with kill streaks and perks. Fact: you can't touch a Chinaman on a leaderboard.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Boy, there's one gigantic market if China decides to do this. I'm sure Sony and Microsoft are licking their chops over this.

This.

I never knew China had a ban in place...

2 people like this | Superpeter Superpeter said:

It's AMD with their tech in the coming consoles who will be salivating at the gums after having their teeth kicked out for so long

treetops treetops said:

Crazy a government looking out for its people rather then working for the dollar. Misguided or not I am amazed by their good intentions. The lobbyists in America would never let something like that happen if there is money to be made.

AlienOverlord said:

Perhaps this is why I can't make any purchases on PSN here... It'll be nice if this goes through, tired of having to bargain every time I want to buy a game. Black market just means small stores here, they are even in the big malls.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

It's AMD with their tech in the coming consoles who will be salivating at the gums after having their teeth kicked out for so long

If AMD are anything like sharks then it doesn't matter how many times their teeth get kicked out.

avoidz avoidz said:

I hope they don't. My friend who just moved to China would have to give me his PS3.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This.

I never knew China had a ban in place...

The "ban" isn't exactly strictly enforced, there's stores selling consoles everywhere and in plain sight. However you can't game online on consoles, although PCs aren't affected hence the huge number of MMORPG players.

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