China Ends Its Longtime Ban On Game Consoles

The Chinese government has decided to end its 15-year ban on video game consoles. After 15 years of banning gaming consoles, the government has decided to allow them in the country. As IBN Live reported, the initial ban was put in place in 2000 and was meant to keep children from developing any negative mental or physical ailments.

Last year, the Chinese government technically ended its ban on video game consoles. They allowed game consoles to be sold in the experimental free trade zone in Shanghai. Under the previous rules, game consoles could only be manufactured and sold in the designated area.

The experimental zone proved to be too much of a headache for the game manufacturers. As noted by The Verge, there were still many regulations involved with the manufacture and sale of consoles inside the free trade zone. Every console manufactured there had to be individually inspected before it was eligible for sale. Since it was so heavily regulated, the gaming business failed to really take off in the area.

The old rule was, as Engadget put it, loosely enforced. Even though the consoles were prohibited, Chinese citizens were still able to obtain the systems through the black market. Systems from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo were available to Chinese gamers who didn’t mind breaking the rules. But China is scrapping the old prohibition on gaming systems altogether.

Now, consoles can be manufactured and sold throughout the entire country with the government’s blessing. Still, many game titles are banned from the country. Popular games such as Battlefield 4 will remain unavailable in China. Most of the games banned from the People’s Republic of China are seen by the government to contain content that negatively represents the country.

Since the people of China have largely been unable to acquire game consoles, many have been gaming on computers. Because of the already established PC gaming community in China, some are questioning whether game consoles will be very desirable to the gaming community there. While some gamers are sure to stick with their PCs, many others will most likely be excited to buy a legal gaming system.

Even though there is some uncertainty, game console makers are no doubt excited at the opportunity China may provide. As the world’s most populous country, establishing a game console market in the country could mean a lot of profits for the company. The only question is which major system will China choose, Xbox or PlayStation?

[Photo by Rob Stothard / Getty Images]