China to lift console sales ban

The console video game market is about to get a hell of a lot bigger.

The Chinese government is reportedly on the verge of lifting its 13-year ban on the sale of video games consoles by opening up the market in Shanghai’s new free trade zone, The Verge reports.

A statement issued today says that foreign companies will be able to sell consoles across the entire country as long as they have established production and sales operations in the free trade zone”.

China’s Ministry of Culture will have to approve each console prior to sale.

The exact timescale of the ban’s lifting is unknown, and could happen anytime between today and 2016.

Having banned consoles due to fears that they could detrimentally affect youngsters, the Chinese games market is currently centred around the PC.

The green light for console sales will obviously be seen as a colossal opportunity for platform holders, with ready made markets seemingly already in place for both cheaper legacy machines and new consoles, owing to the growing affluence among China’s booming middle classes.

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