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China to End Game Console Ban

By - Source: GameSpot | B 23 comments
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The console ban in China may finally end.

China will end its 13-year long ban on consoles, according to the South China Morning Post, now backed up by China Daily.

The Chinese government banned the production and sale of video games back in 2000, because it was concerned about their potential mental effects on children. Of course, this ban didn't prove effective, as individuals still had access to consoles via the black market. In recent years, with the rise in popularity in iOS products, Chinese gamers have had access to app store games.

Under the new policy, console manufacturers may produce their consoles only in Shanghai's free trade zone. Of course, all products will need to seek approval from the Chinese government.

Could this move perhaps inject some life into the thus so far anemic Chinese gaming scene?

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  • 1 Hide
    SchizoFrog , July 21, 2013 1:37 AM
    The first main question will surely be 'How will the 'official' manufacturers deal with the very real prospect of the prolific copies (hardware not software) that are bound to spring up? Should both MS and Sony find a way to limit imitations then surely AMD must be wringing their hands in joy at this future prospect in revenue.
  • 0 Hide
    abbadon_34 , July 21, 2013 2:09 AM
    Thank God for Taiwan.
  • 0 Hide
    rolli59 , July 21, 2013 2:52 AM
    Big market, console manufacturers must be happy.
  • 0 Hide
    blubbey , July 21, 2013 3:46 AM
    This is potentially massive. Even if only ~10-20% or so can afford to buy them that's still 130-260m more potential customers. That's about the size of the US market, if not much bigger.
  • 0 Hide
    spat55 , July 21, 2013 5:38 AM
    Most of them are PC gamers now anyway, as they were not illegal if I remember correctly. Someone tell me if I am wrong though.
  • -4 Hide
    clonazepam , July 21, 2013 7:06 AM
    (Nintendo) Power to the people!
  • -3 Hide
    clonazepam , July 21, 2013 7:10 AM
    (Nintendo) Power to the people!
  • 1 Hide
    deltatux , July 21, 2013 9:58 AM
    PC gaming is huge in China, the console market is rather very small. This means that now, it's an ample opportunity for Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo see if they break into the market that's heavily dominated by PC gamers.
  • 0 Hide
    shikamaru31789 , July 21, 2013 10:16 AM
    Maybe I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that there is still alot of hate for Japan in China due to things that happened before WW2. If that's the case, could Sony and Nintendo have trouble breaking into the Chinese market? If so, Microsoft has a great oppurtunity here, this gen they tailed Sony and Nintendo in almost every market, but China is a potentially huge market for the Xbox, they could potentially take the lead this gen if they play their cards right. If I was them, I'd make China a major priority, get a Chinese division up and going quickly, localize tons of games, get a 1st party studio up and running to make some localized exclusives, maybe get some developers to work on porting over some popular Korean MMO's (which I understand are quite popular in China) with full keyboard support (Xbox One has support for wireless mouse and keyboard). Make sure to support all of the tv features like the HDMI-in and Xbox guide, so that the Xbox One will make a great set-top box. This could be huge for them.
  • 5 Hide
    nevilence , July 21, 2013 3:53 PM
    china had banned consoles?
  • 0 Hide
    jhansonxi , July 21, 2013 7:01 PM
    Quote:
    Maybe I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that there is still alot of hate for Japan in China due to things that happened before WW2. If that's the case, could Sony and Nintendo have trouble breaking into the Chinese market? If so, Microsoft has a great oppurtunity here, this gen they tailed Sony and Nintendo in almost every market, but China is a potentially huge market for the Xbox, they could potentially take the lead this gen if they play their cards right.

    After the Snowden leaks about cooperation between M$ and the NSA I seriously doubt Sony and Nintendo are at a relative disadvantage. Consoles developed locally by Chinese companies may have an advantage but I don't know of any that exist.
  • 1 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 21, 2013 7:34 PM
    While this "ban" was circumvented easily by the Chinese via Hong Kong, I am worried about the restrictions on foreign companies. Under this law, the 3 major companies behind current consoles must set up yet another manufacturing base, this time in Shanghai.

    The market size is definitely appealing, but the Chinese government will not simply let the foreign makers snatch up the entire market. They will likely demand technology transfer to state-owned enterprises, and in two or three generations we may see Chinese "competitors" in the console space. For proof, one only needs to look at TV industry (sapped technology off of Panasonic, Sharp, Sony, Samsung) and white goods industry (Samsung, Panasonic, LG).
  • 0 Hide
    Narciso Palma , July 21, 2013 10:48 PM
    This is my first comment on Tom's, but personally after living all over China for several years, I find it highly improbably to simply start selling consoles legitimately in China due to the simple fact that piracy is so (so) rampant; I fail to see how any industry could sell (this generation at least) into China without them hacking up their anti-piracy barriers in place and just pirating this crap out of everything that comes through the legit gates. Piracy and copy cat items is a way of life there (for literally everything, it's so mind boggling, you become numb to it after some time), You literally have to go out of your way to get legit bluerays or dvds (don't even entertain me with finding legit games, I don't even remember ever seeing one!) I'm not saying anything negative in reality about Chinese culture, but rather it is simply the way of life there and what they know (and we certainly aren't being chased after for dling the new Daft Punk, its what so many of us do here and what what we do), so I'm really hard pressed to know how any of these big three will break into the market (and actually may $), I'm open to other perspectives.
    also eddieroolz has a point..
  • 1 Hide
    unksol , July 22, 2013 2:56 AM
    " The Chinese government banned the production and sale of video games back in 2000, because it was concerned about their potential mental effects on children. "

    Shouldn't the Chinese government be more concerned about THEIR OWN potential mental affects on children? I'm sure it's much worse than video games.
  • 1 Hide
    gggplaya , July 22, 2013 5:15 AM
    sucks to not have a free country.
  • 0 Hide
    shadowfamicom , July 22, 2013 8:35 AM
    Quote:
    The first main question will surely be 'How will the 'official' manufacturers deal with the very real prospect of the prolific copies (hardware not software) that are bound to spring up? Should both MS and Sony find a way to limit imitations then surely AMD must be wringing their hands in joy at this future prospect in revenue.


    Clones of home console hardware themselves have not really been viable since the NES/Genesis. Both used off the shelf parts that could easily be recreated. Anything PS1 and up I have never seen a clone of because of the console specific hardware that is inside of it. Sure you may get something that looks like a PS1 in China... but when you flip open the CD tray there is a cartridge slot of Famicom (NES) games. Controllers could be cloned (although those are getting complicated as well). Sure the PS4 and X1 both use AMD based x86 stuff but there is a lot of custom hardware under the hood as well which would not be really profitable to clone. Not to mention that console makers always sell at a loss (except Nintendo), and get the money back from licensing games. I would not be suprised if each PS4/X1 costs something like $700-$850 in parts to make. The only real concern in my opinion is software piracy.
  • 1 Hide
    mcd023 , July 22, 2013 11:03 AM
    "Approved console." Does that mean loaded with spyware and watches everything you do?
  • 0 Hide
    JamesSneed , July 22, 2013 11:21 AM
    I'm not sure any non-Chinese company wants to have a console in China. If you think about it most consoles are sold for a small loss. The games are where the companies make up the money. Considering all the games will likely get pirated nobody in there right mind would sell the hardware at a loss. So one would have to make a profit off the hardware, a decent one to cover all of the China specific game development, and at that point would anyone in China buy the console? Until the piracy issue is fixed I think the major players Sony, MS, Nintendo will leave the market alone. I could be wrong but I doubt it.
  • 1 Hide
    dalethepcman , July 22, 2013 11:55 AM
    great, now I can get owned by 8 year old korean and chinese children on FPS games.....
  • 0 Hide
    pyro226 , July 22, 2013 1:02 PM
    Quote:
    "Approved console." Does that mean loaded with spyware and watches everything you do?


    Microsoft Kinect comes to mind
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