Gaming Console Ban Temporarily Lifted in China
January 7, 2014 12:15 PM
It's not clear for how long
Gaming consoles have been banned in China for over a decade, but a temporary lift of that ban was announced earlier this week.
, the 13-year ban on home gaming consoles in China has been temporarily lifted, but news reports do not indicate for how long.
The ban was originally implemented in 2000 as a way of protecting the mental health of children. The country didn't want its youth exposed to video game violence and waste away hours sitting in front of the TV.
However, the State Council of PCR announced the lift of the ban Monday, which will allow console makers to produce and sell their products in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. The consoles can be distributed throughout the entire country.
This means that Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will now be able to jump on an entirely new gaming market for sales of their respective consoles. This market in China has an estimated value of $14 billion USD.
While the ban lift will make it possible for console makers to sell their products in China, one thing to consider is that there is already a large black market for consoles and games in the country. Many already got their hands on the products illegally, and have used P2P networks to download pirated games.
Microsoft, maker of the Xbox console, is already very familiar with the
piracy issues in China
. Back in 2012, the company sued Gome Electrical Appliances Holding in China for installing pirated versions of its software on computers. Later that year, Microsoft hired 1,000 new employees in China for research and development (R&D), services, marketing and sales in hopes of reaching the full potential of that market.
But the lifting of the ban is likely great news for Microsoft anyway, as it recently released its Xbox One console in November 2013 and
wouldn't mind the extra sales
. Sony is in the same position, as it released the
a week ahead of the Xbox One.
“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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