Report: China ending nationwide console ban

Approved for manufacture, sale anywhere

China is lifting nationwide restrictions on video game consoles, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The nation eased the embargo last year by allowing console manufacturers to operate in Shanghai’s free-trade zone, leading to Microsoft releasing the Xbox One there on September 29, 2014.

Sony followed suit earlier this year, bringing the PlayStation 4 to Shanghai on March 20. However, the early returns haven’t been great for either company for a number of reasons, including cost and a dearth of content made with the local market in mind. In order to succeed in the market, analysts argue foreign game makers will need to tailor their approach.

Now that the Chinese Ministry of Culture will allow console makers to operate anywhere within the country, as opposed to just one tiny area, these companies figure to be more invested in the market.

Whether consoles can catch on there after a 15-year absence and rival PC and mobile devices as Chinese gamers’ platforms of choice remains to be seen. But the opportunity is there, at least.

China to End Ban on Videogame Consoles [The Wall Street Journal]

Kyle MacGregor Burleson