Right now, it is illegal for someone to buy or sell a Video Game Console in China. Of course, just because it’s illegal doesn’t mean people don’t do it. We’ve seen tons of Chinese made consoles, mostly, copies of current consoles that can play ROMs of older games (pictured below). Also, right now there is a market for buying and selling current generation consoles in China, however, all these items are only available on the “black market” and not at normal retailers.
What does that mean for console manufacturers?
China is a huge market and console makers have been trying to enter the Chinese market for years. Since China is still an emerging market in many regions, the big winners here would undoubtedly be Nintendo and Sony, why? They have 16-128 bit consoles that they can produce on the cheap and these would sell like hot cakes whereas Microsoft only has the Xbox which would be too much for an average Chinese family to afford. Of course, the market for current-gen consoles is still significant, perhaps even bigger than some European Countries or Latin American Countries.
Why was there and Ban and why Lift it?
The ban was put in place to protect Chinese kids from mental harm but like everything else in this world, it’s all about Money, and, of course, the Chinese want in on this industry. Here are a few quotes from a Chinese government official:
“We are reviewing the policy and have conducted some surveys and held discussions with other ministries on the possibility of opening up the game console market”
“However, since the ban was issued by seven ministries more than a decade ago, we will need approval from all parties to lift it.”
Of course, the ban will not be lifted tomorrow but at this point it sounds like they’re seriously considering it for the first time. We’ll keep you updated when we have more information.