(Photo : Sony)
Gamers in China have it tough. A strict regulatory body has banned gaming consoles since 2000, and it's not looking like anything's going to change anytime soon. Sony's PlayStation 3 did get certified earlier this year, and this has news outlets using headlines like "China opens door for Playstation consoles," but this is simply not true.
The fact of the matter is that the certification process has nothing to do with the regulatory body's decision. It's a lot like the Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini recently getting FCC certified here in the United States - it means that the device has passed electronics standards, but there is still no indication whatsoever it will come stateside.
In fact, recently there have been plenty of blog posts about Sony PS3 being granted permission to launch in China, but this is just untrue," said Lisa Cosmas Hanson, Managing Partner of Niko Partners, in an interview with Forbes.
"Sony obtained the China Compulsory Certification (3C) in July 2012 for the PS3, but this in no way means it has bypassed the ban on consoles or that the ban on consoles has been overturned. A 3C is issued by the Certification and Accreditation Administration, which ultimately falls under the State Council," she continued.
The 3C is required for any product that is to be imported and sold in China.
Hanson also expressed that Niko had interviewed a key official at the Ministry of Culture and is absolutely positive the ban on gaming consoles is still place.
Game consoles were banned back in 2000 by the Ministry of Culture because the ministry feared that the games had a detrimental effect on China's youth. Gaming in China today is largely limited to the PC and mobile devices.
So sorry folks, the PlayStation 3 is not suddenly going to open up the floodgates to the Chinese video game market. It's certified, but it'll be some time before we start seeing Crash and Mario in China.
"We recognize that China is a promising market so we will continuously study the possibility," Sony spokeswoman Mai Hora said