China is lifting its nationwide ban on video game consoles, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The country eased restrictions last year by allowing console manufacturers to operate in Shanghai’s free-trade zone, leading to Microsoft releasing the Xbox One there on September 29, 2014.
Sony followed suit earlier this year, bringing the PlayStation 4 to Shanghai on March 20. However, the early returns haven’t been great for either company for a number of reasons, including cost, availability, and a dearth of content made with the local market in mind. In order to succeed in the market, analysts argue foreign game makers will need to tailor their approach.
Now that the Chinese Ministry of Culture will allow console manufacture and sale anywhere within the country, as opposed to just one tiny area, companies figure to be more invested in the market.
It’s undeniable that the 15 year absence in the Chinese market will make competition an uphill battle. At least the opportunity is there for a new market in China for more than just the big names in consoles as well, so it will be interesting to see who the overall winners in the coming console race will be.
China to End Ban on Videogame Consoles [The Wall Street Journal]