China lifts ban on foreign console sales

Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony rub hands in glee.


Mr. House will be delighted.

China has temporarily lifted its ban on the sale of foreign video game consoles, opening the door for the likes of Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony to enter the gargantuan market.

The ban, which had been in place for 14 years, prevented the sale of the PlayStation, Wii and Xbox consoles in the country.

Reuters reported on a statement from China's State Council that suspended the ban, allowing "foreign-invested enterprises" to make consoles within Shanghai's free trade zone and sell them within China - as long as they are approved by the government.

The news is sure to be welcomed by the console manufacturers. At the launch of the PlayStation 4, Sony Computer Entertainment boss Andrew House told Eurogamer he believed the console had the capacity to exceed the sales of the PlayStation 3 because of the emergence of new markets - including China.

"Through the course of the PS3 life cycle we have in essence opened up new markets globally that weren't open to us before," he said.

"Latin America wasn't a serious market for console gaming. It certainly is now. We're seeing signs that, finally, China may open up, with the Free Trade Zone being established in Shanghai and the opportunity now to sell consoles in that market."

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