Reports coming out of China suggest the country is planning to withdrawal its 13-year ban on the production and sale of game consoles. This would allow heavyweights like Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony to manufacture systems in Shanghai's new free trade zone in an apparent effort to open up China’s economy to other parts of the world according to a report from the South China Morning Post.
The Chinese government implemented the sales ban in 2000 as a way to protect the country’s youth from what they deemed to be unhealthy influences but even still, there have been ways around it. The advent of the Internet and mobile gaming as well as a strong underground market are just a few of the ways that those in China have been able to get their gaming fix for more than a decade.
Under the proposal, console makers would be required to register in the aforementioned free trade zone. A source that claims to have reviewed the policy said manufacturers would still need approval from the culture ministry and other relevant government bodies for products. This is because China wants to make sure the content of games sold isn’t too violent or politically sensitive for youth.
Now could be as good of a time as any for the country to life the ban as both Microsoft and Sony are preparing to launch new systems in the coming months. That could mean a lot of money for all parties involved, especially China.