China to Lift 15-Year Ban on Video Game Consoles (Report)

Sony Playstation 4 H 2015
AP Images/Invision

The government brought in the draconian ban in 2000 to stop kids from wasting their time with unproductive pastimes.

China will lift a 15-year ban on the production and sale of video game consoles in the country, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The ban, which has been in place since 2000, could lead to a huge sales boost for the leading consoles, Nintendo's Wii, Microsoft's Xbox and the world's best-selling machine, Sony's Playstation.

The WSJ report says that China’s gaming market is estimated to be worth $22.2 billion this year, according to gaming research firm Newzoo BV.

The new rules, which were announced by the Ministry of Culture, mean all foreign and domestic consoles can be manufactured and sold anywhere in the country. Previously, only consoles made in Shanghai's Free Trade Zone under a pilot scheme could be sold in China, but sales have been small in relation to the potential size of the market.