China temporarily lifts its ban on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U

14-year ban previously blocked sale of foreign consoles in potentially lucrative Chinese market.

by

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo will likely be popping open a few champagne bottles after China announced it has now temporarily lifted its long-standing ban on foreign video game consoles, allowing the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Wii U an opportunity to stake a claim in a potentially massive market.

The ban had been in effect for the past 14 years.

Reuters reports that the Chinese State Council now allows the big three console manufacturers to make consoles within Shanghai's free trade zone and then sell them in China, provided they get government approval.

No other information was made available.

China floated a proposal to lift the ban back in September, with the announcement following a $237 million investment by Microsoft into Chinese TV company BesTV.

The country began its console ban in 2000, following concerns about potential harm to the physical and mental development of children.

Discussion

82 comments
blue_shift_91
blue_shift_91

this is interesting. a console ban lifted on a country that has come to depend largely on PCs to satisfy their gaming needs. and now the ones that can even afford one are presented with the option of buying a 100$ more expensive xbox or a Japanese product...

veryDERPY
veryDERPY

that's why i saw all the consoles by the tons in there right? probably smuggled from japan

VenkmanPHD
VenkmanPHD

Their people should revolt.

This may not be the number one reason worth revolting.

But on top of all the bullshit they have to deal with over there... they don't even get to play video games.

tzolynski
tzolynski

Maybe the US should put a ban on stuff they make.... Maybe we would have more jobs here if we did.... maybe we wouldnt owe them so much money if we followed their strategy... Its gonna be like a fucking holiday for Chinese people but they would have to stop playing cell phone games.

inkeyis
inkeyis

Be warned: long read. Correct me if I'm wrong. China is a very tough call.

Casual crowd: Nintendo. The ban started in 2000, long after Nintendo saved the video game industry. So not only do adults know the Mario, Zelda, and pokemon brand, they will probably recognize those games as quality games. And they probably won't see them as rehashes since they haven't really been in the console era since 2000. From the family side of things, nintendos familiarity and kid friendly titles will probably win over the casual crowd. Microsoft does cater to the casual crowd, but that's through tv, sports, kinect, social integration, and live. Some of those services might not reach or impact china as it does elsewhere, and without brand recognition, xbox might be a lost cause for casual gamers in china like in japan

hardcore gamers (not PC): ps4. If they are into anime or other Japanese culture (which I would assume so), I would assume there is more demand for RPGs or mmorpg games. PS4 will win that category without a doubt with its exclusives and third party support like ffxv and witcher 3 (assuming the government doesn't censor, ban, or alter those games which I highly doubt). Xbox does have nearly the same 3rd party support so it won't be dead, but it's main exclusives include fps titles like halo, gears, Titanfall. It does have dead rising and ryse, but given the quality and reception of those games, it won't change much. That leaves Nintendo. Mario won't make a dent, but zelda, X (monolith soft), bayonetta 2, and potentially devil's third as exclusives might give them some influence.

PC gamers (assuming they buy a console): ps4. This is a very close one between ps4 and xbox one, but the ps4 barely comes out on top with specs, exclusives and price. Both however are lucky that steam machines aren't going there, because then the steam machines might have the advantage (except in terms of exclusives which are significant). Nintendo might not be dead though because I often hear of the PC/Nintendo combo (one for amazing specs and 3rd party, and the other for amazing exclusives/experiences).

Ultimately I don't expect a huge amount of people to switch to gaming consoles quickly, but if they do. Ps4 will come out on top, Nintendo in second and Microsoft in 3rd.

wookiefck
wookiefck

Well you thought it was hard to buy a next gen console before you haven't seen anything yet

xolivierx
xolivierx

they are only allowing the xbox one because it will be easier to spy on their own people

Youngwarrior777
Youngwarrior777

I'm going to eat nothing but fish,rice and dumplings from now on. I'll only use chopsticks when I eat.

Fartman7998
Fartman7998

The one thing that's not made in China that would make us tons of money is also the one thing that China has banned.


Go figure.

ANUBISZER0
ANUBISZER0

So how does this work? They lift the ban, you get the system, then if they choose to enforce it again what happens?

kingcrimson24
kingcrimson24

and i thought iran is bad , there are many xbox one's and ps4's in shops right now , even thought xbox one and ps4 never officially launch in iran . 

ziproy
ziproy

Glad to see China's just as bad as America


We are banning the sale of foreign consoles to protect our people from cultural destruction. What's that? You'll give me $237 million if I let you sell your console M$??

plaintomato
plaintomato

No more games featuring China as the bad guy...

Butt_Chunx
Butt_Chunx

How is it free trade if you impose stipulations on how and where a product is made? I think the rest of the world, not just America, should impose a ban on anything made in china until they truly embrace free enterprise and stop undercutting foreign manufacturing.

Xx_DemonSoul_xX
Xx_DemonSoul_xX

Is there anything they don't get their panties in a bunch over?

noandno
noandno

Get ready to learn those gibberish Kanji because you're going to need it...

jayjay444
jayjay444

Great news but I do worry i'm going to get my a$$ handed to me by the Chinese gamers lol. 

shingui5
shingui5

The Red Dragon awakens......

nastro64
nastro64

hahaha in a country where your ideology of thinking is controlled by gooons in dictatorial hats (BLACK_ADAMS) SHAZAM where are you?



Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

Why would they ban a console? It doesn't make sense. Unless they wanted to try and make a cheap knock off as usual and failed miserably. America is doing just fine overall and most people have played a video game at some point. It isn't like their heads are going to explode from playing some COD in an evening is it? I'd rather hire someone to work for me who can actually chill out rather than someone who just sits at home working every moment of their life. I'll wait for robots to hit mainstream for that thanks. Right now I want to chat about current events and funny work happenings.

ace-meza
ace-meza

1.3 billion people play consoles for the first time......china is fu**ed

brande77
brande77

@VenkmanPHD The ban was meaningless. All gaming stores still sold consoles anyway here in China. Chinese gov makes laws, but here there is no law enforcement.

Twilord
Twilord

@inkeyis Ummm... you wouldn't happen to be Playstation biased would you? 

pyro1245
pyro1245

@ANUBISZER0 they never really enforced it in the first place, you just couldn't buy them in China. They don;t go door-to-door checking to see if you have consoles.

tachsniper
tachsniper

@ANUBISZER0 much like the stupid new gun laws in the states, if you legally purchased it then you're good, you just can't get it anymore if they enforce the ban again. 


though it is China... so they just might kick down your door, beat you half to death and take away your console...

Jag85
Jag85

@Butt_Chunx 


Most of the world's goods are made in China. No country would be stupid enough to ban goods made in China. That would be economic suicide.


tachsniper
tachsniper

@Butt_Chunx free trade is a stupid idea anyway, if you do business of any kind (especially international trade) you should get paid for it, bring back trade tarriffs. Let's make money for doing business.

ziproy
ziproy

@Butt_Chunx That would not only destroy the World Economy but it would also start World War III

HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

I can read a bit of Hiragana and Katakana also kanji :D

tachsniper
tachsniper

@jayjay444 with a 14 year old console ban, pfffft they are newbs who are going to get crushed under my boots.

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

@Dannystaples14 China operates on control. That's the entire system. They have to be very sure about something before they allow it to happen within their boarders. And foreign consoles are going to exclusively run games licensed by foreign companies which would put a real damper on their censorship efforts. That's all it comes down to is censorship.


What is happening now is that China has become so large and powerful that their government is becoming less and less afraid of the influences of outside sources. They are taking great steps in the right direction and every time they do, they add a little bit more steam to their already strong economy. They are coming along nicely even if their position isn't particularly enviable at the moment.

brande77
brande77

@ace-meza The ban was meaningless. All gaming stores still sold consoles anyway here in China. Chinese gov makes laws, but here there is no law enforcement.

inkeyis
inkeyis

Nope, I have a wiiu and will only get a ps4 once it starts to get games worth playing. This is just how I see things play out. Correct me if I'm wrong

Trol1yFartsy
Trol1yFartsy

tachsniper is a ignorant prick who think he's funny so ignore him

tzolynski
tzolynski

@Jag85 @Butt_Chunx 


Not if we started making it here... they are just fine with banning things we make and they are just fine why??? cause they make a lot of shit and we just settle for what they make with no interest in making it ourselves.

dickieg
dickieg

@ziproy@Butt_ChunxChinese currency manipulation, and relocation of most manufacturing to China has already destroyed the world economy.  How would it start WW3? 

Xx_DemonSoul_xX
Xx_DemonSoul_xX

Wow.. A great comment loaded with intelligence. How in hell did you find your way to GameSpot. ;)

xxmavr1kxx
xxmavr1kxx

@ExtremePhobia @Dannystaples14 Video games are the perfect media system for them, not counting sandbox games. This way the player are on the same projected path, with the same projected outcome as long as they do it the way the game wants them to do it. Just like China itself. China will be releasing China Approved games.

Sundberg_man
Sundberg_man

@ace-meza @Sundberg_man The internet will crumble, the belibers will rage, take over the world, chaos, death, blond hair........noooooooooooooooooooooooo!