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China is poised to lift 13-year ban on gaming consoles

china-video-games

A very large market for video games is about to open up, which could boost overall sales for Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. China is planning to lift its 13 year ban on video games in order to boost the cultural relevance of its Shanghai Free Trade Zone. Companies like Sony and Nintendo will now be allowed to sell games and consoles throughout the country so long as joint venture operations are established in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. This Free Trade Zone is Shanghai is an attempt by the Chinese government to establish a cultural and financial hub similar to cities such as New York, London, and Tokyo.

While the ban on video games is lifting, products to be sold in the company will still need to meet the guidelines of China’s Ministry of Culture before being allowed in the country. The 2000 ban on video games was put into place over concerns of the affects of violent video games on children. Despite the ban, popular consoles have long been available in the country, either pirated or imported illegally. Now with the ban lifted, proper marketing and sales efforts can begin.

The Chinese market is a very large one and the only Nintendo product sold there officially is the Nintendo 3DS XL, sold through a publishing partner. Now Nintendo can market the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS freely, meaning install-base for these consoles could skyrocket once the ban is officially lifted and Nintendo enters the country in a concentrated marketing effort.

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  • Doctors Tardis

    Nintendo: PIMP THE SHIT out of Wii U in china. Establish a foothold there and watch profits SOAR!

  • https://twitter.com/Onyzora Ony

    Is it in both ways or only world to china ?
    Hoping they release Monster Hunter Online worldwide.

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      Right now it’s just a limited ban-lifting to allow companies to begin marketing their products inside of China. Capcom is ultimately responsible for Monster Hunter Online and they’re a Japanese company.

  • therealruben1

    The Chinese now can play awesome nintendo games!

  • Rugmouse

    With how strict China is with content, I have a feeling that the Wii U could have a leg up on the competition. While the other consoles focus on realism to the point that many games can be extremely graphic, Nintendo leans more towards stylized, eccentric, and fun themes. I could see the Chinese market gravitating towards this type of escapism.

    • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

      Good point

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      This is exactly true. All game content still has to be approved by China’s Ministry of Culture, which is notoriously conservative. All the shooty mcshooters for PS3/4 and Xbox 360/One will likely not be approved if it’s seen as glorifying America or an outside force.

      This gives Nintendo a leg up, since their games are politically neutral.

      • ScrewAttack

        Battlefield 4 isn’t gonna even get close to the country’s border lol

      • Jon

        The only issues with China for approving games for Nintendo is the fact that it is a Japanese company (same with Sony) and we all know the Chinese don’t like the Japanese much but they are a lot better. Other than that, I think Nintendo will be able to excel here where Sony and Microsoft will have trouble due to their games.

        • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

          While that may be true, the Nintendo 3DS XL has already been available in China since 2012 through a Chinese publishing partner. I think Nintendo and Sony have a better chance in the country than Microsoft.

          • Jon

            Wow, I didn’t know the 3DS was already in China, that’s good news, with that too it may help as Nintendo already has it’s name in there. But yes, I do agree with Sony and Nintendo having an easier time than Microsoft just because of the content from Microsoft.

          • Daniel Gonzalez

            Kinda went back on your last post. Lol. You said Sony would have a tough time like Microsoft. I’ll just take that as a goof.

          • Jon

            well, they will probably have a tough time, not as much as Microsoft but probably more than Nintendo due to content with their big games. I didn’t really go back on myself as I stated the two would do better than Microsoft however between the three, Nintendo will probably have the easier time.

          • Daniel Gonzalez

            Not really. Sony can just release games that they know will go through.So that’s not necessarily true. Plus, I’m pretty sure Sony and Microsoft are aware of this.

        • Guest

          I mean the only people in China who may not care much for the Japanese are probably the older generation.It’s kind of like saying a US company won’t do well in Japan because they don’t like us, that isn’t true in the slightest.

        • ItzameyaToad

          I mean the only people in China who don’t care for the Japanese are probably only the older generation.It’s like saying a US company can’t do well in Japan because they don’t like us, that isn’t true in the slightest.

      • MetroidZero

        Shooty mcshooters. Lol.

      • Archiq09

        + nintendo has free online :)

        • Daniel Gonzalez

          I don’t think that matters in this case. Lol. So does PS3 btw.

          • Archiq09

            but I said unlike PS4/XboxOne.. cause I think they will take new consoles on market.

          • Daniel Gonzalez

            I think a lot will take the last gen too. Plus PS4 and Xbox One or possibly a Wii U may be too expensive there.

          • Zakariyya Al-Quran

            Soon ps4 and 3 will be for money

          • Daniel Gonzalez

            Meaning?

          • Zakariyya Al-Quran

            Ps3 and 4 owners will soon have to pay for playstation networkd and online play

          • Daniel Gonzalez

            Not everyone is bothered by paying for online. I sure don’t mind it and I’m sure the whole China doesn’t hate paying for it. Besides, depending on the laws, they might not have to.

          • Steve

            Well, I think high price points are a defiate in china. Unless, of course, you get them pirated; that would not really be a big surprise.

      • MetroidZero
        • Mario

          That’s funny!

      • Daniel Gonzalez

        They’re missing out on those shooty mcshooters. All because it’s not glorifying their “great country.” Gotta feel sorry for their narrow-minded government. I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t mind a game that glorifies their country as the greatest nation. Gotta love hypocrisy. It’s at least a step up from where it was at years ago.

      • Theiz Zzee

        I wanted to make aware of subtle issues I noticed. Many sites such as ToysRUs, Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, and Gamestop when doing a search for unreleased multiplatform games by name only they often lists Wii U games near the bottom or on the second page. The Call Of Duty website not only did not have the Ghosts bonus map available but, neither was the game for pre-order, This went on for at least a month. I recently tweeted them about the unavailability of the pre-order. They fixed it like a week or so later. I also hear the Splinter Cell Blacklist latest trailer has the Wii U logo removed. Just something I noticed.

        As far as this ban being lifted this can be great for Nintendo. It can change their fiscal projections a great deal. It may take some months or longer to set up though.

    • Ducked

      Yep, there’s nothing offensive about Nintendo gaming. Unless China is against Italian plumbers, which I’m pretty sure there not.

      • Yen

        I don’t know… have you played Pikmin 3? The little things are practically doing it on screen constantly! Just give them some food and they pop one or two kids out.

        • Ducked

          lol

        • crocodileman94

          Not to mention the gameplay. A warlord sending cute little creatures to die in battle.

        • aldo2410

          Not to mention that when they die, their souls just vanish in the air, that killed my inocense.

  • Marcus Navarro

    I love it! Seeing a country become less traditionally imposing gives me warm fuzzies!

    The interesting thing about this is that the Big 3 now have a market that is basically untested for preferences, and each of the Big 3 has their unique characteristics. However, they have to keep in mind the reason for this bad(violent video games).

    MS pushes for an “all-around” entertainment system with a yearly subscription fee, with its main games being shooters, a racing sim, and fighting games. Sony and Nintendo are more well-rounded for gaming, but Sony leans towards the violence.

    The only thing Nintendo ever keeps in mind is how fun they can make their games. MS’s devs and Sony (especially MS) attempt to make games that follow trends to sell the most games. What happens when there are no trends to follow?

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      The problem with Microsoft consoles specifically is that they are primarily FPS games. I highly doubt China’s Ministry of Culture will allow the Call of Duty series to be marketed there, though with region-free consoles the games could be imported or pirated.

      • Marcus Navarro

        Especially with the main characters fighting for a certain country against a certain country? Nuh-uh. Call it a wrap. No way Activision or EA’s touching China.

  • Magnus Eriksson

    Very good news for the industry. And the timing couldnt be better. This is a very big market opening up for Nintendo, who I think will benefit most from this because of the type of games Nintendo is marketing. Although the capitalistic coin grabber Mario must be modified to fit socialist standards. Not as fat, and instead of coins he will grab… the little red book? And all the stars will probably be red.

  • Logan Waltz

    Maybe if you weren’t complete fucking tyrants and didn’t ban everything on the face of the earth, your country wouldn’t be so shitty.

    • D.M.T

      Ok calm down douchebag. Why do you even care? Do you live in China?

    • Marcus Navarro

      Bruh…chill. They don’t ban everything. Children still work in factories.

      But seriously, calm down. It’s not like the USA’s any better. What would you say if the government became the plutocracy that the Republicans want it to be? What would you say if the UK reverted back to being an oligarchy? Lemme answer those questions for you: not a damn thing, because you’d be too busy bitching about your life to even bother to call other countries shitty.

      • Truthteller

        The UK is still an oligarchy. When people are forced to pay taxes (tribute) to a ‘royal family,’ then that says it all.

      • Logan Waltz

        It’s like the US is far better in every way imaginable. Did you seriously cite a single political party? brainwashed much?

        • Marcus Navarro

          Only the more evil of the two! ;)

          I did word my paragraph incorrectly, and I do apologize for it, but you should keep you ad hominem bullshit to yourself.

  • Jack5221

    I dont live in China, nor do I have friends or family there. Either way, great day for China! They’ve been missing out on a lot of great games these past 13 years!

  • Truthteller

    See, that is the bad thing about a Communist nation. They tell you what you can and cannot have even though the idea of Communism is supposed to be for all to work together and share in the wealth of the nation. Of course that is not true because with every nation, someone is running it and most are at the bottom. The prime differences between Communism and capitalism is that one form of government rations out living needs and makes it harder to get more. The other rations out living needs and disguises it as wages in a free economy, while it is designed for the rich to stay rich and control everything, effectively keeping the masses underneath them. In other words, they are the same except that Communists basically control all of the businesses while the businesses control the nation in capitalist societies.

    I recall China calling video games ‘electronic drugs,’ which they are correct to a degree. However, not giving people a choice goes to show where the problem is. On the flip side, even in an allegedly free country like the US, we only have the illusion of choice, but the end game is always set up the way the the government wants. We think that we elect presidents, but they choose who will be in the White House. Look for Hilliary with her one term… Even pro sports a rigged. Did you see the New England/Atlanta game?

    • Marcus Navarro

      That game wasn’t rigged. That was the Falcons doing the 2 things they do best combined: managing to get blown out AND choking! That’s not game-rigging; that’s Georgia Sport Syndrome.

      Edit: “We think that we elect presidents, but they choose who will be in the White House.” If that’s true, then why didn’t Romney get elected? He’s the banks’ wet dream, yet a pseudo-puppet/pseudo-liberal gets elected. Explanation?

      • Truthteller

        Well, when NE wanted a catch reviewed, they would not review it due to ‘system malfunction!” I had to laugh at that one. Of course, the system was working fine after and it was working fine enough for the TV announcers to look at it again. They tried to help ATL. I think that the powers that be keep trying to do everything to make ATL some type of NY/L.A. city of the south, even though it is small.

        • Marcus Navarro

          …you think ATL is small? Sweet Jeebus…

          Also, if Belichick really wanted the catch reviewed, he could’ve challenged the call instead of bitching. Alas, he didn’t, and ATL pissed the game away as usual. And the fact that there was some funny business going ATL’s way and they STILL lost makes it all the better. They tried to pull a Spygate and lost. Lulz everywhere. Not that I care. I can watch the Failcons get blown out AND choke any day.

          • Truthteller

            ATL (and Miami) IS small. It only has a little over 400K people! Some cities have more fame than their city size. Hell, Boston is a lot bigger than ATL. ATL has been promoted as the Hollywood/San Francisco of the south.

            Bill DID challenge the call, but the review system mysteriously malfunctioned, which lead to ATL being able to come back. Some might ad – to make the game more exciting in order to retain viewers…

          • Marcus Navarro

            Regardless, the Failcons still got blown the fuck out. No level of cheating can rectify that. Objections?

          • Truthteller

            The cheating allowed the Falcons to get back in the game and possibly win.

      • X3Charlie

        In the last election we only had two viable choices, Romney and Obama. Two big government progressives with agendas and corporate backers. Besides a few details neither was going to really effect the change that is really needed to save the nation.

        • Marcus Navarro

          …you think Romney was progressive? *sigh* He couldn’t be more to the right if he severed his left arm. and lived in Newport.

          Just to put this in perspective; ALL politicians have corporate backers. They vote for their biggest donors because lobbying. Obama’s no different, but at least he pretends to care for the non-rich.

          • Truthteller

            THAT is the game! One side says that they love the corporate world and claims to believe in individual success, while making sure that individual success can only happen if approved and aided by them. The other side claims to worry about the whole and tries to instill socialist programs on the people in order to keep them down. Either way, the people are being kept down. That is the big game and that is why there are only two parties – they are much easier to control!

            The grand trick is that they keep coming up with pre-selected ‘candidates’ to give you the appearance that you have a choice, but all presidents (save for JFK, and you know what happened to him) follow the same rules/plans, which is why nothing ever changes, but wars (the same ones mind you) are always the constant. What they have done since Bush II and what they occasionally do to try and make you forget and appear as if you have a choice, is what they are doing now.

            Bush II was clearly installed as president in order for 911 to take place. The public did not like him, so they brought in a man with a million dollar smile and an Arabic name. What did he do? He told blacks to: “stop complaining about racism,” while he told gays and illegals what he will do for them. He reads from a script.

            He also continues the wars because presidents don’t decide war and neither does the Congress, they all all puppets who must go along with the order. Obama is just another puppet designed to throw us off. Then they will give Hilliray her ONE term, then bring in a Jeb Bush. The trick is to make you think in your mind that so much time has passed and you had two terms of Obama and one of another Clinton (Nixon’s former attorney) which means 12 years of Democrats. Then you get a Republican to come in and ‘save the nation’ and you get another Bush. They do this so it won’t seem too close together and by the time another Bush is thrown in your face, Clinton will have messed things up to the point that the people will welcome him. It is all by design.

            If you had a lot of money in your house and had to go to jail and needed a male to watch over the house. Would you grab an unknown man off the street who could take all of your money and have sex with your wife, or a trusted man who will continue what you had? That is what they do… This is why JFK had to die because he did his own thing.

    • Magnus Eriksson

      Thats not the prime difference you uneducated little boy…

  • Shaise

    Whoaw! The population there is over 1 billion! Imagine the boost of the install base for Wii U! It may be thanks to the Chinese government, do you guys think that it’d 60% of the Wii Us install base in China?

  • ItzameyaToad

    This will be interesting to watch unfold. It will also be interesting to see what happens with the already big gaming PC market over there. With Steam OS coming as well as the government lifting restrictions on video games im sure it will only help PC gaming grow as well as console gaming.Good to see some of the ridiculous bans starting to lift.

  • Ducked

    This is huge news! Good for both Wii U and PS4, I’m curious to see how this helps both companies. Although since there a communist country, Xbox One will probably outsell them lol

  • Smartass2

    Great news. Soon the Chinese will be whippin their Wiimotes though their TVs.

  • starwars360

    Cool man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Add to it’s more number of players to join Nintendo and Sony’s large fanbase business. I bet Microsoft will have few like Japan did. Nintendo and Sony will have big numbers of players to get their consoles then Microsoft is.

  • ICHI

    Ah well this isn’t that simple as wii u, xbone and ps4 getting sold in China. They are very reserved in China with their laws surrounding online interactions. I can see that Chinese players might have to have customs OS’ so they can’t interact with certain countries or the ministry of culture might impose a ban on particular features which would stop a lot of consoles from actually being sold ever. I can see them starting with the current gen machines and making a jump relatively quickly, which may work in Nintendos favor being backwards compatible wii to wii u?

  • Josiah Parsons

    This is gonna boost sales on one of the three consoles. Hoping it will be Nintendo.

  • Jacob T. Plante

    OMG!! 8D Over 1.3 billion people live there… can you imagine the new sales Nintendo is gonna get!?

  • Leo

    Nintendo will be the likely winner of this market, since their cultural expressions seems more fitting for the chinese people.

  • Tepl├ín Csaba

    Last chance for Wii U. Please Nintendo don’t f*** up !