As predicted, Nintendo is rolling in the cash after the Chinese government lifted the nationwide ban on video game consoles. The Japanese company’s stock surged with the news now that a new audience of roughly 1.3 billion people will be able to buy its consoles for the first time in 14 years.
Nintendo’s shares jumped 11% to 15,850 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, but it remains to be seen if China is going to follow along with the rest of the world and shaft the Wii U. Nintendo is now trading at the highest price since it reached an all time high after dropping the Nintendo 3DS price in 2011.
14 years means the last Nintendo console readily available in China was the Nintendo 64. The Chinese population missed out on the dark horse Gamecube years and the Wii phenomenon. It’s almost hard to believe given how many great Nintendo games have been released in that time frame. No Wind Waker. No Metroid Prime. No Super Mario Galaxy or Super Mario Sunshine. I’d be dying for some Nintendo at that point.
Luckily, the grey market and import stores have been able to help the most hardcore of Chinese gamers, the very same people the Chinese government was trying to protect with this ban.
Sony’s stock also saw a small bump, from 1,802 yen per share up to 1,894.
Now that the console can be freely manufactured within the Shanghai free-zone, both Nintendo and Sony are under the microscope of the Chinese government and must pass each console through an inspection. Nobody wants to mass produce a device only to have it sent back or, even worse, banned once again. It’s quite a gamble to jump in right away while the lift on the ban is still “temporary.”