If some of the reports coming out of China are true then the Chinese mainland could see the revival of console games for the first time in 13 years. Gaming consoles, including Sony’s PlayStation and Nintendo and later Microsoft’s Xbox, were banned by the Chinese government in 2000 citing beliefs that the gaming culture would adversely affect the minds of the young population of the country.
China Daily has quoted an unnamed official from the Chinese Ministry of Culture as saying thus. “”We are reviewing the policy and have conducted some surveys and held discussions with other ministries on the possibility of opening up the game console market.”” The source further added “”However, since the ban was issued by seven ministries more than a decade ago, we will need approval from all parties to lift it,””
The publication has also mentioned that sensing the possible change in attitude of the Chinese government Japan’s Sony Computer Entertainment, the subsidiary which handles the Sony PlayStation, has already set up a base in South China’s Guangdong province. This branch will be used as a training and R&D center for Sony in China.
Microsoft, on the other hand, already has its Kinect motion sensing hardware in China, but it is being used not for gaming, but for other purposes, including for medical use.
“Kinect’s entry into China does not mean Microsoft’s game console has come to China. Currently, we don’t have a timetable for our game consoles entering the Chinese market. It needs government’s approval,” Zhang Yaqin, chairman of Microsoft Corp’s Asia-Pacific R&D Group told China Daily.
Considering the size and the population of China it is only natural for companies to show immense interest. China has already proved to be one of the largest markets in the world for smartphones and tablets, generating a lot of revenue for international tech companies such as Apple and Samsung. So, it is easy to imagine the massive positive change it will bring to the gaming industry once the ban is lifted.
CNET reports that prices of Sony’s and Nintendo’s shares shot up considerably last week when news about a possible lift of ban first surfaced.
But in the end it is still too early to believe that China will actually lift the ban. Another Chinese Ministry of Culture official has actually told Reuters that China is not considering lifting the ban.
Source: China Daily Via: CNET