Through a new set of rules issued by the State Council today,
China is moving to repeal its 13-year ban on video game consoles
within the country. The new rules are part of a series of
regulations related to the brand-new free-trade zone in Shanghai.
Essentially, foreign companies like
(OTCMKTS:NTDOY) will be able to sell their consoles and games all
throughout China if they operate sales and production within
Shanghai's new free-trade zone. However, each console will still
need to be approved by the Culture Ministry.
This news comes just days after the
South China Morning Post
reported that China would lift bans on politically sensitive
foreign websites like
), Twitter, and the
New York Times
in this zone, which spans 28.78 square kilometers of the city's
international business-centric Pudong area. It was also announced
recently that Microsoft would be partnering with Chinese Internet
(SHA:600637) to develop family-friendly games.
Wall Street Journal
reported today's story on gaming consoles, and made sure to note
that consoles have been available for a long time through
"unofficial channels." However, since China banned consoles in 2000
over concerns that the games were harmful to young people,
computers and phones have been the preferred method of gaming in
the People's Republic.
No timeline is set for the reintroduction of consoles to the
Chinese market, but the big three video game companies will be
paying attention, ready to push the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and
WiiU through lucrative official sales channels. Moreover, the
change might be good news for console game-developing companies
), which is already riding high after its massively successful
Grand Theft Auto V
, a game that was launched on September 17 and earned more than $1
billion in its first three days of sales.
For more on Shanghai's free-trade zone, read
China May Allow Facebook and Twitter in
Shanghai Free-Trade Zone
Follow me on Twitter: