The market expands.
A ban on the sale of game consoles in China that had lasted for over a decade was finally broken late last year, as the Chinese government announced that game consoles would be officially permitted to be sold in China as long as they followed certain rules and regulations. These rules included the expected censorship and content governance rules, of course – it’s China – but there were also other rules, rules capping the maximum number of units that could be sold, rules limiting where they could be sold or manufactured.
Today, the Chinese government announced that it was easing up on those rules. Consoles can now be manufactured and sold across the country without restrictions, not just in Free Trade Zones (such as Shanghai), as was originally required. This should come as a relief to both Sony and Microsoft (Nintendo has not yet announced any plans to sell its consoles in the country), as this expands the market that they can reach.
As of right now, the Xbox One is the only console selling in the region- it had a very successful launch, but then slowed down, due to a dearth of content, and local content issues. The PlayStation 4 and PS Vita were both due to launch there earlier this month, but the launch was delayed at the last minute without any explanation provided, and no new release date has yet been announced.
We’ll keep you posted.