China Temporarily Lifts Ban On Foreign Video Game Consoles

by Kyle Hilliard on Jan 07, 2014 at 03:31 AM

A 14-year ban on the production and sale of foreign video game consoles in China has temporarily been lifted. This means than Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo are now able to sell its consoles in China, but only with government approval.

Video game consoles were banned in the country in 2000, citing the negative effects video games were having on youth culture, but as a result people just played video games on their PCs. The console ban didn't prevent players from playing video games, it just forced them to relocate. Early last year, it appeared the government was considering lifting the ban, and in the beginning of 2014, the rumor has finally met fruition.

It's unclear exactly how long the lifted ban will last.

[Source: Reuters, via CVG]


Our Take
China is a huge market for video games, but it is one Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo have been legally prohibited from entering for more than a decade. Sales numbers for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have been impressive, and moving into China could give them an even stronger boost. The Wii U has been struggling, comparatively, and I'm curious if China could prove to be lucrative for Nintendo. We don't know if those three will attempt to enter the Chinese market. There's opportunity there, but China is also notorious for pirated hardware and software, which I am sure is a concern. To entirely ignore China, however, seems like it would be a huge missed opportunity.