There are probably many of you out there that thought console gaming was, already, legal in China. That was true in some aspect. Yes, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 did go on sale in China earlier this year, but they were relegated to selling their consoles in an 11-mile trade zone surrounding Shanghai. Yet, they were still banned in the remaining areas of the country and if you know geography, you know that is a lot of land.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that China has finally lifted the 15-year-old ban on consoles, which went into effect in 2000, for the entire country. It would seem that the country that manufactures the consoles will now be able to own them. See what I did there?
The ban was instituted by China’s cultural ministry to prevent the youth from being corrupted by the influence of gaming. Many other outlets believe that this was to prevent the youth of China to receive content from Western countries that could cause issues with the regime. However, gaming has become very mainstream and very difficult to avoid altogether.
PC gaming is the nation’s larget market, according to Polygon, even Activision launched their own China-version of Cal of Duty Online to capture some of the 100 million online players.
As of now, Microsoft and Sony are the only console developers that are in the market. Nintendo expressed some interest in launching in those “emerging markets” but has not done so as of yet. Although, now that consoles are available in those markets, how much will they be forced to clamp down on their content as to not “pollute” their culture with western propaganda?