China has just officially joined the modern day video game world! The Wall Street Journal has it that the Chinese cultural ministry has struck down a 15 year old ban on the sale of video game consoles on a nationwide level, effectively allowing anyone in its 1.4 billion population access to a PlayStation 4, Xbox One or Wii U.
Last year, the government tested the measure by allowing “foreign-invested enterprises” to sell video game consoles directly to the Chinese population within the “Shanghai free trade zone.” The Xbox One hit China first shortly afterwards, and the PlayStation 4 followed suit earlier this year in March. Nintendo has yet to make the plunge into China, but claims it has interest in the “emerging market.”
It’s a win/win/win for all parties involved, really. China gets to take part in the booming video game industry, which will no doubt help its economy. Sony and Microsoft get to roll in the massive amounts of money they’ll be making through the enormous Chinese population, and the Chinese population won’t have to go through back alleys to score themselves an official video game product.
Plus, all the fakes out there can finally be weeded out of existence.
I guess the only real concern is wondering if game developers will change their projects to please the important foreign market in the same way that Hollywood has. Only time will tell if the Chinese demographic plays a factor into how games are written, developed and sold.