China's Ministry of Culture has announced that the country has officially lifted its ban on console gaming. Some fifteen years ago, the nation enacted a ban which blocked the sale of video game consoles due to concerns over their potential impact on the mental and physical health of children.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo can now legally manufacture and sell their video game hardware anywhere in Japan, opening the potential for massive growth within the console gaming sphere. Previously, console makers had to work through the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, which, according to WSJ, "stifled sales and potential growth."
Sony is quite pleased with the news, with a spokesman from the PlayStation manufacturer simply saying, "This is great news for us" (via GameSpot).
It's important to note, however, that success in the region may still be limited because of the country's strict censorship rules. Regardless, this is certainly a step in the right direction and only spells good news for the likes of Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony.
Xbox One launched in China last year, and PS4 and Vita made their way to the region earlier this year. Will this newly lifted ban fast track Sony and Microsoft's success in the massive Asian nation? We'll just have to wait and see.