Gaming the System

Geeks in China Are Finally Allowed to Buy Videogame Consoles

Time to start growing out that neckbeard.
Coming soon to a China near you? (Wikimedia Commons)

Coming soon to a China near you? (Wikimedia Commons)

Gamers across China can reacquaint themselves with their basement couches, because they’ll finally be allowed to buy videogame consoles for the first time in over a decade.

According to Reuters, the Chinese government has temporarily lifted a 13-year-long ban on the sale of gaming consoles, making room at long last for Xboxes, Playstations, and Wiis to flow freely through Shanghai’s free trade zone. The ban was first instated in 2000, ostensibly for the purpose of curbing mental illness in the country’s young people.

Despite the ban suspension, purveyors of popular gaming consoles seem unsure about what their next moves will be.

“Both with hardware and software, there are many things we have to look into and so we can’t say anything concrete,” Yasuhiro Minagawa, Nintendo’s public relations manager in Japan, told Reuters. A spokesperson from Sony was similarly illusive about the Playstation’s Chinese future.

If the companies do choose to start selling in China, they could face obstacles. In the absence of consoles, China’s gamers have taken to PCs and smartphones, and might not be inclined to switch back—especially because consoles are expensive as shit, and most Chinese gamers apparently don’t make that much money.

Oh and also, the government stipulated that all new console games would have to be inspected for cultural appropriateness, because China.

Follow Jordyn Taylor on Twitter or via RSS. jtaylor@observer.com