Friday, September 27, 2013

China lifts ban on games consoles, could be big for Vita

China's 13 year-old ban on games consoles is coming to end, after much discussion since the start of this year. Initially imposed to protect the nation's youth from harm, those kids are now part of the teams hacking the world's networks and stealing trade secrets for its own industry. So, that went well.

But, now Sony and others can soon flog their consoles against China's existing torrent of knock-off cheap Android devices, plus the higher-end iPhones and tablets that sell in the big cities. Will consoles make a dent in a market that's grown up with mobile? And just how much of PlayStation has leaked over the porous Hong Kong border and into Chinese culture already?

Sony's current China page makes no mention of PlayStation, Playstation.com.cn links straight to the US site and there is no China option on the global selector page. Isn't it weird to think a billion people are behind a physical and net firewall to the whole games industry. This brave new territory could be fertile ground, specifically for the Vita which is easily portable and a sign of wealth, both big box tickers when new trends come around.

China is also setting up a development area in Shanghai to get local talent involved with big global publishers. While things will start out with cookie-cutter games, it'd be good to see some real Chinese innovation in gaming.


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