China lifts 15 year ban on video game consoles

China lifts 15 year ban on video game consoles

China has had a countrywide ban on video game consoles for the past 15 years. Now, the ban is lifted, and manufacturers are finally able sell their consoles in the country.


In 2014, China started the process of lifting the ban by allowing consoles to be manufactured within the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. This area is used as a testing zone for different types of social and economic reforms.


Inside The Pudong Free Trade Zone

(Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg)

Before the ban was put to an end, many Chinese citizens resorted to using the black market to purchase gaming consoles. Gamers in this country will no longer need to rely on illegal resources to purchase their gaming hardware now that Xboxes, Playstations, and Wiis can all be legally sold in stores.


“We remain committed to delivering fun and exciting console gaming experiences to as many Chinese users as possible,” said Sony spokesperson Sousuke Kamei.


Why was a strict ban on gaming systems implemented in the first place? Chinese officials believed banning consoles would protect children from the negative effects of playing video games. This didn’t come as a surprise at the time, as China had censored many forms of media.


With China’s population at over a billion people, console manufacturers will likely market their products heavily in the country. This could also lead to the creation of games that are targeted to Chinese audiences, now that this massive market has opened up.


The decision to end the ban is a win for many; console manufacturers can increase profits by reaching more people, and millions of gamers now have the freedom to legally purchase the consoles they desire.


Will this lifted ban lead to the end of other media bans in China? What affect will this have on console manufacturers? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.


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