In news that must have console manufacturers drooling, Reuters sources within China’s Ministry of Culture indicate that the country’s government is giving serious consideration to lifting its thirteen year-old ban on the sale of video game consoles. The ban was instituted out of concern over video games’ impact on the mental and physical well-being of the country’s youth – and to hear that China is making noise about lifting it while America is making noise about investigating video games’ impact on the mental well-being of the country’s youth is interesting to say the least.
This news comes following a November 2012 decision by the Chinese government’s safety standards body to issue a quality certification for the Playstation 3. An official from the Ministry of Culture, however, denied that the ban was being re-examined, and it would take approval from all seven ministries that supported the ban to lift it. Nevertheless, notoriously excitable stock markets have already lifted Sony shares 8 per cent, and Nintendo’s 3.5.
Meanwhile, reports are indicating that China’s video game industry, despite the console ban, is burgeoning based on online and smartphone gaming, growing by more than 35 per cent last year and amassing a worth of $9.7 billion USD – about three quarters of the worth of the US’s 2012 retail console game market.