China to lift ban on gaming consoles

ku-xlargeAfter a lengthy ban that has lasted for more than a decade, China is now lifting the ban to allow companies to sell video game consoles within the country.

However, there is still a bit of a limit, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal. Console sales will now take place in a newly designated free-trade zone located in Shanghai. The new zone will be opened up on October 1, according to PCWorld, while the new regulations will be phased in over the course of the next couple years. Game companies will also need to change their consoles and policies for the region to meet China’s policies, as well as the gaming tastes of the populace.

Microsoft is apparently already on the ball with the idea. They had recently announced a partnership with China based media company BesTV New Media to develop a console exclusive to China. The new console is said to be using Xbox technology, and is being developed for online streaming. No other details are known about the venture at this time.

China’s government originally made the decision to ban game consoles back in 2000, out of concern for their effect on children. Ironically enough, the decision only caused gamers to turn to online and mobile gaming, causing the respective genres to grow exponentially in the country. Game consoles, meanwhile, were sold on the black market, and numerous inferior bootleg versions of them can be found in the country. Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft have yet to comment on the lifting of the ban, and what it would mean for each of them.

Source: Wall Street Journal, PCWorld

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