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China Lifts 13-Year-Old Foreign Console Ban

Unknown Lamer posted about 3 months ago | from the moving-on-up-from-a-jaguar dept.

China 54

hypnosec writes "China has lifted the 13-year-old foreign gaming console ban, which it imposed back in 2000 as a way to protect the nation's youth from unhealthy content that may adversely affect their mental health. The temporary lift of the ban, which was announced Monday by the State Council of PCR (Google Translation into English), will make way for international console vendors including Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo to setup production facilities in the newly created Shanghai Free Trade Zone and sell their consoles throughout the country. The vendors will still have to go through local checks, including the ones from the Cultural authorities to ensure that they don't violate any of those rules."

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54 comments

Good news for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45886801)

If China has a console then it will get cracked/jail-broke faster and i can get to my homebrew sooner.

Down side: the Chinese that are looking to crack them just to use the camera to spy on all the hot American girl gamers.

Re:Good news for me (3, Insightful)

thaylin (555395) | about 3 months ago | (#45886831)

First why is that a down side, other than for those Chinese people. After all for every 1 hot gamer girl they will have to go through thousands of basement boys.

Re:Good news for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45886911)

When you already lost, say the other side is using ad hominem. BTW, it's can't, with an apostrophe, otherwise your sig makes even less sense.

Re:Good news for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45887017)

original AC here:
very true, it will be like chat roulette.
maybe we will see compilations of Chinese reaction videos :-)
I was also operating under the assumption that there are girls out there that fit this category. The internet said they exist so it must be true.

Re:Good news for me (1)

CapOblivious2010 (1731402) | about 3 months ago | (#45886837)

Down side: the Chinese that are looking to crack them just to use the camera to spy on all the hot American girl gamers.

Boy are they in for some disappointment...

Re:Good news for me (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 3 months ago | (#45886917)

Heh heh...nice.

On the plus side, it's going to make a lot of average-looking Chinese girls instantly more palatable.

Re:Good news for me (1)

Bozzio (183974) | about 3 months ago | (#45886841)

Or, we might get knock-off models at half the price (and half the durability)?

I'm not a big gamer anymore, so I actually would like to try a knockoff next-gen console. Who cares if it breaks in 2 weeks if it cost me peanuts?

Oh yeah, then environment :|

Re:Good news for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45886899)

...will make way for international console vendors including Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo to setup production facilities in the newly created Shanghai Free Trade Zone and sell their consoles throughout the country.

Press Release in 2015: "Chinese companies have create game consoles that are 100% compatible with XBox, Wii, Playstation for half the price. Soon to be in Walmart."

2016: "Microsoft, Nintendo and SONY game Sales plummet Worldwide. "

There is ALWAYS a technology transfer clause in these agreements.

Sony, MS, Nintendo - Suckers.

Re: Good news for me (1)

Mabhatter (126906) | about 3 months ago | (#45892331)

Except the consoles are ALREADY made in China. Why would anybody need NEW factories? This is merely the Chinese government "most graciously allowing" Chinese workers to buy the crap THEY MAKE for export.

This is as not-news as selling cigarettes in the USA. Most of the WORLD's supply is made here but we ban and tax the hell out of them.

Re: Good news for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45894423)

RTFA
They have to set up in the Shanghai free trade zone to qualify.

Re:Good news for me (0)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 3 months ago | (#45887697)

The only 'hot gamer girls' are the fictitious ones in photographs for ads selling gaming guides.

Real 'gamer girls' are same same chips-n-cheeseburger munching human mounds-of-flesh as the gamer guys.

Re:Good news for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45894439)

Only in America, Asia has a lot of attractive gamers, and hardly any fatties.

Re:Good news for me (1)

ausekilis (1513635) | about 3 months ago | (#45889021)

If China has a console then it will get cracked/jail-broke faster and i can get to my homebrew sooner.

I'm more interested in the Super Z-Station VII, the reverse-engineered XBone, PS4, and Wii U in one small box. We haven't had any good Retro-(X) consoles since the SNES/Genesis days. They've got some catching up to do with the N64, GameCube, Wii, XBox (original), XB360, PS1, PS2. Maybe we'll get the SUPER-MEGA POWER-GAME 2100, with all of the systems ever made in one small box for $100.

Unlike copyrights, patents expire. (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#45893435)

You might notice that Super NES compatibility became widely added around 2010, when the Super NES patents expired. PlayStation and Nintendo 64 patents are expected to expire within the next three years.

just consoles? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 3 months ago | (#45886815)

I assume games are still restricted.

Sketch iQue (1)

BlackTriangle (581416) | about 3 months ago | (#45886827)

Let's not forget the sketchy iQue , which sketchy speedrunners have used to get sketchy world records on ancient games. *cough*

13 year old foreign gaming console ban? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45886839)

Why not just import 12 or 14 year old foreign gaming consoles?

Re:13 year old foreign gaming console ban? (1)

Bozzio (183974) | about 3 months ago | (#45886889)

I see what you did there.
I don't see just why you did it, though.

Re:13 year old foreign gaming console ban? (2)

ackthpt (218170) | about 3 months ago | (#45886999)

Why not just import 12 or 14 year old foreign gaming consoles?

Geez! Why can't you be quiet?!? Now I'll have competition from other slashdotters!

Good for Indie Games (1)

BisuDagger (3458447) | about 3 months ago | (#45886875)

Assuming they allow purchasing from PSN and Microsoft Store etc., the Indie Game market could really soar from here. This is a pretty beneficial moment for more then just the big head companies.

Localization is not free (1)

tepples (727027) | about 3 months ago | (#45893467)

But how would indie game developers outside China afford to have the text translated into Chinese logograms and the dialogue dubbed into Mandarin?

Re:Localization is not free (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45894623)

The same way a lot of foreign stuff was brought to us in the early days; With horrible translation (Google Translate; I CHOOSE YOU!) that was done by a machine. Also, if you have subtitles, no need for dubbing into good ol' Beijing-hua or Guandong-hua...

Still the bigger question is how are they going to get around the rampant piracy? The Chinese _WILL_ find a way to chip, root, or otherwise modify their consoles so they can get copies of everything free or for pennies.

Still more to be done (3, Funny)

Akratist (1080775) | about 3 months ago | (#45886885)

They still need to lift a ban on weed and frozen pizzas (if there is one) to get the full Western "console experience"...

I read that as 'casserole' and thought "ooh!" (1)

vilms (106676) | about 3 months ago | (#45886931)

*hands in (already-mostly-ceremonial) geek card*

Re:I read that as 'casserole' and thought "ooh!" (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 3 months ago | (#45887005)

*hands in (already-mostly-ceremonial) geek card*

Casseroles are still banned. Have a pot sticker.

for a Gay Universe! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45887009)

China is full of evil female creatures! Begin deployment of self-replicating dildo-bots. Our male brothers must be freed!

To suggest Chairman Mao is spinning in his grave.. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 3 months ago | (#45887043)

To even allege the former ruler for life would frown on this, one must remember, he was a former bandit chieftain who joined the revolution so he could have a bigger group of bandits to command (and do away with the other commanders in his path to ultimate leadership) Mao was not a true communist at heart and was in it for Mao.

Which, if you think about it, is the theme for a heck of a lot of games. Just change the title character to Young Mao and you are golden.

"You heard me, change the title from Pac-Man to Lucky Mao and be quick about it!"

Big Deal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45887049)

Big deal, consoles are widely available here already, and have been for 20+ years.

Re:Big Deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45887575)

Yeah, when I lived there 10 years ago, consoles were widely available and pre-chipped.

Aren't they all manufactured in China, maybe that qualifies them as non-foreign.

Re:Big Deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45894471)

You must have a different version of widely than most people, its extremely uncommon here to own a console.

Thats good for PC Gamers (1)

Fluffy the Destroyer (3459643) | about 3 months ago | (#45887377)

1 thing I know is that if you put 280 million people on a software chances are you will get it hacked eventually. Increase that number to billions and your chances increase with numbers I like. Maybe if big companies like Sega, Sony, Microsoft and all others think their creations arent hackable (I'm serious...I think they think people don't hack console games) like they think they are, with this number of people using consoles, I hope in a good evil way, it gets hacked so easily they will have to put more emphasis on computer games and stop making idiot low quality ports like we have most of the time right now.

Re:Thats good for PC Gamers (3, Insightful)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 3 months ago | (#45888677)

Let me guess, you're not a native English speaker. Let me also surmise that you don't live in the UK, US, NZ, AU, or Japan. Because in those regions....people actually pay money for software.

The only people wanting to start conversations about "flip-top" PS2's and HDLoaders on the PS2 Linux forums were not in any of the above countries.

The reason developers/publishers put more emphasis on console games (which are actually computer games since consoles are special purpose computers) is because console gamers spend money. Especially so compared to PC gamers in Eastern Europe and the Second/Third World.

Re:Thats good for PC Gamers (2, Interesting)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 months ago | (#45889955)

Your comment is wrong (about countries). In AU and NZ, hacking rates were higher because many releases were Japan-only or US-only, so the "smaller" markets would have more mod chips and such getting around restrictions because the number of legitimate titles was restricted.

If all region codes were eliminated for all markets (not even needed now, as HD PAL and HD NTSC are essentially compatible, PAL/NTSC being one of the reasons I kept hearing for why they were "necessary"), then piracy would decrease, not increase. When they make it harder to buy legal content, more people will pirate. But they want to sell the same thing for $10 in India, $50 in the US, and $100 in NZ/AU. So NZ/AU will pirate because they are paying 10x what others are for the same content.

Re:Thats good for PC Gamers (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 3 months ago | (#45891199)

Perhaps you aren't aware, but PSP, Vita, PS3 and PS4 games are not region encoded.

Oneof the reasons australians pay more is that it's a english speaking country far away from the other english speaking countries. It didn't use NTSC encoding or 120V power so they couldn't just send australia the US stuff, and they don't use American spelling! They also have a totally wacky and outrageous rating system. The exchange rate is also part of the issue. Not taking into account the tiny population. At least with the US, you can add Canada into that which makes over 300 MILLION people. Australia is less than a tenth of that. So basically they have to send Australia a customized UK version for what is, essentially, a niche market.

Besides Excuses about region encoding and whatnot are just that, excuses for impoverished Russians/Ukrainians/Poles/Thais/Indians/Brazilians to acquire media without paying.

The moment some media company releases stuff in those places, it goes up on "ThePirateHarbor.ru/ro/ukr/pl/etc etc. They tend to not respect intellectual property.

Think about it from a publisher perspective:

"Why should we release our stuff at all in a nation of thieves."

Re:Thats good for PC Gamers (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 months ago | (#45893797)

First it's:

PS2's and HDLoaders on the PS2 Linux forums

Then it's:

PSP, Vita, PS3 and PS4 games are not region encoded.

I'm confused, why did you change your focus from specifically PS2 to everything else? Seems pretty deceitful.

Re:Thats good for PC Gamers (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 3 months ago | (#45897101)

Don't be so literal.

the PS2 reference was what we call a "for instance" showing my point that it isn't Anglophones or Japanese that are pirating. The same would have applied to the PS3 Linux forums. The people wanting to turn PS3's into "PirateStations" weren't in the Anglophone nations or Japan.

And as I said, region encoding of games hasn't been an issue since 2006!

Re:Thats good for PC Gamers (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 3 months ago | (#45899827)

Good, then I can buy games in AU for my US Wii? I bought it after 2006, so it can't be an issue, right?

Re:Thats good for PC Gamers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45894525)

Just sell them the UK version, whats so expensive about that?

Really its just a price gouge because they can, Aussies have the money so charge them more. The whole region coding nonsense is just globalisation for the big people, make stuff in the cheapest place but sell it in the most expensive place.

Re:Thats good for PC Gamers (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 3 months ago | (#45892741)

Because in those regions....people actually pay money for software.

Or maybe they're in high school or college. I rarely paid for games and other software because I rarely had money. Since graduating, the situation has completely flipped around. Still, I remember wondering how game developers and publishers could be making any money. Everyone around me seemed to be pirating their games, either through modified executables on their PCs or by chipping their consoles. This was all in a fairly affluent area of the US.

console games (which are actually computer games since consoles are special purpose computers)

Well, yes, and a Mac is a PC (in that it's a "personal computer"), but you'll just confuse people if you use technical definitions in a non-technical context.

Re:Thats good for PC Gamers (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 3 months ago | (#45897129)

Everyone around me seemed to be pirating their games, either through modified executables on their PCs or by chipping their consoles. This was all in a fairly affluent area of the US.

Where? I'm in the midwest and nobody but nobody chipped their consoles. You want a game, you paid for it, or if you were young, got mom & dad to pay for it. Or you rented it, or found a used copy.

It's probably a selection bias thing, different locales different attitudes.

Re:Thats good for PC Gamers (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | about 3 months ago | (#45899173)

Southern California. I'm sure it is an issue of selection bias; I had a lot of foreign friends during high school and college, and fairly technically-minded ones, at that. Especially during college, I had a lot of free time, a decent computer, and access to an on-campus file sharing server with a few TiB of movies and games.

Re:Thats good for PC Gamers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45893271)

Console gamers pirate as much as PC gamers. There are lots of pirated copies of console games on torrent sites. I suspect that the real reason that companies only make games for consoles is because someone pays them handsomely to only release it for x console (s). Another reason may be that consoles have a set hardware, and a PC can have loads of different components.

Re:Thats good for PC Gamers (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 3 months ago | (#45897157)

Console gamers pirate as much as PC gamers.

Not in the Anglophone nations in japan they don't.

There are lots of pirated copies of console games on torrent sites.

Yes, but it's not Americans doing the uploading or downloading but a bunch of Poles, Russians, Ukrainians, Hungarians, Romanians..etc etc

Game Over (1)

PPH (736903) | about 3 months ago | (#45889085)

Logged on to my favorite MMORPG today and found myself confronted by an enemy with a billion strong army. I think I'll just sit back and read a good book or something.

yeah, but you can only bring in Atari 2600s (1)

swschrad (312009) | about 3 months ago | (#45890369)

and other consoles made before 2000. written natively in the Chinese language. featuring games of feeding pandas.

Available on Taobao (1)

sc0rpi0n (63816) | about 3 months ago | (#45894485)

A quick search on Taobao (the number one Chinese online market place) yields more than 60000 results for 'xbox':
http://s.taobao.com/search?q=xbox&commend=all&ssid=s5-e&search_type=item&sourceId=tb.index&spm=1.6659421.754896237.1&initiative_id=tbindexz_20140108 [taobao.com]

People that want one can easily get one. Same for satellite dishes, which are illegal in China, but nevertheless easily seen on most apartment buildings in Beijing.

the ban was never enforced... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#45894497)

This is worthless news to anyone who actually lives in China. It's very easy to get any console or game you want. Yes, even legal copies. As some people actually do want to play online in China.

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