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Game over for epic 15-year-long console ban, China says

Rules relaxed last year, now it's open season for foreign manufacturers

Videogame giants will soon be able to make and sell consoles in China, after Beijing confirmed plans to lift a ban first instituted in 2000.

Rules were relaxed in the country in 2014 to allow for the production and sale of "gaming entertainment" in the newly created Shanghai Free Trade Zone.

Now, according to the Wall Street Journal, the country's Ministry of Culture said that foreign and domestic console vendors would soon be able to manufacture and sell their wares in the People's Republic.

It means that the likes of home-grown console maker Eedoo, which is backed by Lenovo, will be competing with Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo.

China's gamers – having adapted to Beijing's attempt to protect its youth from supposedly unhealthy content – are big fans of massively multi-player online role-playing (MMORPG), which work better on PCs than consoles.

That said, the world's biggest video game makers will no doubt be relishing the opportunity to return to such a potentially huge market. ®

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