China to relax console ban?

The Chinese Minisrty of Culture may scrap a 13-year-ol law prohibiting the sale of videogame consoles in China

Good news for ailing console sales; China, the world's most populous country may be about to join its consumer base. The Ministry of Culture in China is considering removing a 13-year ban on selling videogames consoles in that country, which was imposed in 2000 to protect children's mental and physical development.

Whether this change in policy is due to the rise in motion-sensor controllers - which encourage players to take a more physically active part in gaming - is unknown at this stage. However, speculation about this change in the law has been brewing since November last year, when a Chinese safety's standards body gave a quality certification to the Sony PlayStation 3.

"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," said an unnamed insider in the Ministry of Culture to China Daily. "However, since the ban was issued by seven ministries more than a decade ago, we will need approval from all parties to lift it."

If the ban is lifted, it could prove a financial boon to the games industry's three console manufacturers. China does have around 1.3 billion people living in it, after all...

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