After 13 long years, China’s State Council has officially lifted the ban on gaming consoles, according to Techweb. Foreign companies within Shanghai’s free trade zone can now engage in the production and sale of gaming entertainment. The alterations indicate the consoles can be sold nationwide.
All game content will still be reviewed by “cultural authorities.”
Both Sony and Microsoft have been working to sell their consoles in China for some time. In November, Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai said his company was building a reliable network of sales channels and service partners. Their push finally seems to have paid off just as their next-generation consoles are released.
Last September, some government documents surfaced that hinted the ban would be lifted in the free trade zone, and overseas companies there would be allowed to sell their products across China. Last month, word got out that the Xbox One would hit China’s shelves by September.
China implemented the ban in 2000 to protect the youth from gaming addiction and harmful content.
Update: The leap from a government statement to actually getting consoles on the ground is a big one, and these rules are still in flux. The official memo says the regulations are “provisional,” so we won’t be sure consoles are coming to China until the moment we see them on store shelves.
(Editing by Josh Horwitz)