Sony's PS3 has reportedly received a certification of quality from a Chinese safety standards body, leading to speculation that the world's most populace country could be about to lift its ban on home consoles.
The super-state banned such hardware in 2000 amidst concerns about their potential effect on the country's youth.
The move would be music to the ears of Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft as it would open up their platforms to 1.3bn potential new customers, whose affluence is increasing by the day.
TechnologySpectator reports that The China Quality Certification Centre certified two PS3 models back in July.
However, Sony reps emphasized that this does not automatically mean it is planning an entry into the Chinese market.
"This does not mean that we have officially decided to enter Chinese market," spokesperson Mai Hora stated. "We recognize that China is a promising market so we will continuously study the possibility."
Indeed, the certificate issued to Sony doesn't necessarily mean that the Chinese authorities have changed their stance as The China Quality Certification Centre doesn't have any regulatory authority.
It should also be noted that in the absence of consoles the Chinese market hasn't stood still. Indeed, customers have instead turned their attentions to online social games and mobile gaming – conditions that console makers might find difficult to crack.