China Ends 13-Year Console Ban

The markets are seeing this as good news for the big three console manufacturers. Sony & Microsoft have had successful launches in the last few months, but the overall trends still make it look like consoles are losing ground. I should imagine that Chinese companies have their own plans afoot too. With the China Mobile deal really opening up China to iOS gaming, things are getting really interesting.

China’s ruling State Council temporarily suspended the ban and may allow consoles to be made in the Shanghai free-trade zone, it said in a statement Jan. 6. Hardware manufacturers such as Nintendo Co., Microsoft Corp. and Sony Corp. (6758) could benefit from entering a $10 billion market dominated by online and personal computer games.

China took the step as computer games have proliferated well beyond consoles to smartphones and the Internet, so people who want to play games already can in many cases. China had announced last year that the ban would be lifted within the Shanghai free-trade zone, which opened in September.