China will lift its decadelong ban on the sale of video game consoles due to new rules allowing a free-trade zone in Shanghai.
A statement issued from the State Council, companies that operate sales and production within the new trade zone will be able to sell its products across the country providing approval of the device by the Ministry of Culture, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Microsoft announced a venture with Chinese Internet TV company BesTV New Media earlier this week will will see the Seattle firm investing $237 million into the Shanghai free-trade zone to develop “family games and related services.”
Consoles, despite having been available in the country – even with the ban in place – have yet to catch on with consumers preferring mobile and PC.
China banned consoles in 2000 due concerns the games would impact young people in a negative manner.
A timeline was not provided for when consoles will start selling legally, but the new rules and regulations for the Shanghai trade zone will be implemented over the next three years.