China Temporarily Lifts 14-Year Console Ban

Diablo 2 was just released.  Microsoft purchased Bungie.  The PlayStation 2 launched in Japan.  These events are notable today, not because of their historical significance, but because these things were happening the last time China allowed gaming consoles to be sold within its borders.  Today, that ban has been temporarily lifted.

Coming via a report from Reuters, news broke today that China has temporarily lifted their 14-year console ban.  This means that, pending government approval, Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo can start to sell their consoles there.  There is no word on how quickly the approval process will move forward, or even how long the ban will be lifted.

What is clear, though, is the billions of dollars console makers could stand to make from spreading their market to China.  Gamers there have been relegated to PC gaming for a long time, and it isn’t hard to imagine a lot of them wanting to try something new.  Neither of the big three companies have stated their plans, if any, for entering the Chinese market, so stay tuned for more details.