New research into video games in China confirms that consoles are still banned, refuting rumours that Sony would bring the PS3 into the country.
The Chinese Games Industry Regulations and Policy Report, a document co-produced by Pilar Legal and Nike Partners, looks at the issues facing the gaming industry in China.
These issues include intense regulation, mountains of red tape and a blanket ban on consoles.
Lisa Cosmas Hanson, managing partner of Niko Partners, says the country’s ban on consoles shows no signs of lifting.
“Consoles are banned in China and have been since the year 2000," she says.
"In fact, recently there have been plenty of blog posts about Sony PS3 being granted permission to launch in China, but this is just untrue.”
Although Sony recently obtained Chinese certification for the console, the ban is still very much in place.
Because of this, the majority of China’s games industry consists of PC games, and mobile games are also becoming a stronger and stronger force.
Consoles were banned in 2000 following complaints from parents, and no domestic companies within China can compete with the three big names – Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.
“The history is that consoles were banned in the year 2000 because of a parental outcry that consoles game were bad for Chinese youth, but the next year is when PC online games were launched in China and now that industry is about $9.6 billion strong and growing fast," Hanson says.
Why so much emphasis on the PC industry? Because according to the report some officials believe the console industry in other countries is in decline, and most are going the way of PC gaming anyway.
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