Chinese authorities have decided to allow the sale of video game consoles across their whole country, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. If this enables players to fully adopt the machines in the world’s largest game market, then it could be a significant boost for the entire game industry.
After a 14-year ban, China had previously begun allowing the sale of consoles such as Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PlayStation 4 last year. But sales were restricted to Shanghai’s economic development zone.
Microsoft launched the Xbox One in Shanghai in the fall, and Sony waited until earlier this year to launch the PS4. But a lack of local game content and limited distribution led to poor sales.
I’ll be heading to the ChinaJoy game trade show in Shanghai next week, and 250,000 people are expected to attend the event. The consoles will no doubt be a major topic of conversation.
Niko Partners, which specializes in Asian-games-market research, previously said that it expects only 550,000 total PlayStation 4 and Xbox One systems to sell in China in 2015. However, Niko said that sales will improve if the prices for the systems drop and if more triple-A titles become available in the region.
China’s entire gaming market is expected to hit $22.2 billion this year, up 23 percent from a year earlier, according to market researcher Newzoo.