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Video gaming sparks excitement in China

Michael Kan | July 31, 2015
The country has recently lifted its ban on video game consoles, and gamers are trying to decide between buying an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4.

That means hit gaming titles such as Grand Theft Auto V, which contain plenty of criminal activities, probably won't be coming to China. But in some good news, Microsoft's Xbox division head Phil Spencer said on Twitter that its Halo: The Master Chief Collection would be arriving in China next month

The Halo series is a first-person shooter, but the battles revolve around futuristic soldiers fighting aliens, and contain less blood than other games. During the ChinaJoy show, Microsoft advertised other upcoming titles such as Rise of the Tomb Raider, Gears of War, and Halo 5: Guardians, but it remains to be seen if Chinese regulators will actually approve them for sale.

For some Chinese gamers, the regulations hardly matter. Before the government lifted its video game ban, 15-year-old Tan Ceyuan was already buying consoles from the country's gray-market dealers, who have long specialized in secretly importing consoles from Hong Kong or Japan into China and providing pirated games.

Tan said he bought a Hong Kong version of the PlayStation 4 a year before Sony launched the official mainland China version. He was at the ChinaJoy show, and pessimistic that the country would approve any of the most violent, but best-selling, console games. "I don't think the government will change the restriction," he said.

Grand Theft Auto V is one of his favorite games, and he buys titles from online sellers.

However, other Chinese are more optimistic that the restrictions will loosen. Furthermore, they believe that consoles will eventually take off in the country.

21-year-old Pang Ranming doesn't plan on purchasing a console, claiming that he's grown too old for them. But he still sees the allure, and expects many consumers to buy them.

"I think a lot of Chinese people want to try something new," he added.

 

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