The Central Government of the People’s Republic of China finally lifted the ban on foreign game consoles a few days ago, and many are wondering what the big three console manufacturers will do and whether they’ll jump to the chance of a promising and enormous untapped market or not.
A Sony spokesperson told Reuters Japan that the company is looking at the Chinese market with a degree of interest and is willing to explore the possibilities:
The Chinese market has been recognized as promising, so we’ll continue to explore the possibilities.
On the other hand a spokesperson from Nintendo mentioned that the company has “no plans” to expand in China at this time, despite the fact that the news of the lifting of the ban sparked a 7.5% surge in the value of the stock of the historical manufacturer from Kyoto.
Update: a different Nintendo spokesman, Yasuhiro Minagawa, told Bloomberg that the company is studying what it can do in the zone.
Microsoft didn’t comment on any specific plans for the console market, however Chief Executive Officer of Greater China Region Ralph Haupter gave a generic mention of the existing partnership with Chinese IPTV giant BesTV to grow “a new development ecosystem in China.” Microsoft invested 237 million dollars in the partnership last year.
We’ll have to wait and see how the situation will develop, but rampant piracy within Chinese borders could still put a damper on any real expansion plans, especially since the government hasn’t exactly approached the issue with an iron fist so far.