Chinese electronics manufacturer TCL Corp. plans to release a new video game console in China later this year to take advantage of the country's relaxed restrictions on console sales, according a report
from China Daily published today.
China Daily claims the company, which already manufactures everything from televisions to home appliances, is demonstrably eager to drum up business in untapped markets, and believes that game consoles will be in high demand by Chinese youth in the year to come.
TCL Corp. claims its console will be comparable to Microsoft's Xbox hardware, though no further details about which
Xbox were given and China Daily reporters were unable to solicit further comments from TCL Corp.
The ban on the sale of game consoles in China was loosened
earlier this year -- consoles manufactured in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone may now be legally sold in China if
they are inspected and approved by Chinese authorities.
It's a very vague, nebulous ruling that nevertheless sparked renewed interest in the Chinese console market -- the stock prices of Nintendo
, Ubisoft and Microsoft jumped up after news of the ruling hit, even though Microsoft had partnered
with a subsidiary of the Shanghai Media Group last year to explore the Chinese console market in anticipation of the State Council's decision.
It's worth pointing out that while China's recent decision to lift the 13-year ban may allow consoles to be officially sold in the country, in practical terms little has changed -- most game consoles and handhelds have long been unofficially available on the Chinese gray market to anyone who knows where to look.