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In the words of John Lennon, imagine no PlayStation 3s … I wonder if you can. Well, it’s easy if you’re in China.
China’s Quality Certification Center issued an approval to Sony that notes the console is safe for Chinese consumers, but that doesn’t mean much since a ban on consoles is still in effect. The heavily regulated nation banned gaming consoles in 2000 to protect young people from the evils of Crash Bandicoot and Gex.
“The ban remains in place,” said Lisa Cosmas Hanson, a managing partner at gaming consultancy firm Niko Partners. “The ministry of culture has the regulatory authority over the console segment and is the sole organization that can revoke the ban. They have no immediate plans to overturn it.”
China issued the same 3C certificate to Sony for the PlayStation 2, which was under a ban there throughout its lifecycle. This is a necessary step in selling the console, but it does not change the status of consoles in China.
“This does not mean that we have officially decided to enter the Chinese market,” Sony spokesperson Mai Hora told Reuters. “We recognize that China is a promising market, so we will continuously study the possibility.”
Promising doesn’t begin to describe it. China’s 1.3 billion people represents approximately a sixth of the world’s population, and while many of those citizens live in poverty, the country’s economy is producing a vast working class that could afford something like an inexpensive, six-year-old console.