China May Remove Decade-Long Ban on Home Video Game Consoles

By Gary Cutlack on at

China, which banned dedicated video games machines in the year 2000 to protect the brains and minds of its little children, might be about to relent and lets its population play consoles again. The news led shares in Sony and Nintendo to explode upwards like a familiar old video game barrel.

The report of this possible ban lift came via the China Daily, which quoted an anonymous government official as saying: "We are reviewing the policy and have conducted some surveys and held discussions with other ministries on the possibility of opening up the game console market."

There are loopholes aplenty in China's current policy, though. Microsoft's Kinect webcam thing is sold in China, but has to be marketed as a health/educational tool rather than a gaming device to get around the ban. Mobile games are also allowed, so perhaps the country feels the ban on home machines is starting to look a bit silly when console-quality war/murder games are now freely available on everyone's favourite brand of smartphone. [China Daily via Reuters]