Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo will all be on high alert, as China is set to lift a ban on the sale of games consoles, one that has been in place for 15 years. In a statement given to The Wall Street Journal, China’s Ministry of Culture will allow foreign and domestic companies the right to manufacture and sell consoles throughout the country.
The ban was originally put in place in 2000, over concerns of the physical and mental well-being of children as a result of overexposure to video games. In 2014, China’s State Council enabled foreign companies to manufacture and distribute consoles, but this was restricted within the boundaries of Shanghai’s free trade zone.
Both Sony and Microsoft have since released their respective consoles in China, but neither the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One has yet to replicate the success that both consoles have seen in the rest of the world.
Whether the ban’s removal will alter the fortunes of both Sony and Microsoft remains to be seen, but both will have the chance to convince the Chinese public at the China Joy expo later this week. Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has recently confirmed his attendance at the show, and Sony have scheduled a press conference for July 29th, where they’ll announce new video game releases for the Chinese public.