While the Chinese government announced last week that it would temporarily lift a 14 year ban on consoles within the region, the rules the country's culture ministries will put in place will make it hard for Chinese gamers to play anything that might be found by government censors to be offensive or culturally unacceptable. What is and isn't offense or culturally acceptable to the Chinese government is unknown because the rules haven't been written yet.
Those rules, according to this Bloomberg report, will be written up by China's Ministry of Culture head Cai Wu. During a recent press conference he told the media that anything which did not "conform with the outlook of China's government" would never see light of day in China.
"Things that are hostile to China, or not in conformity with the outlook of China's government, won't be allowed," he explained, as reported by Bloomberg. "We want to open the window a crack to get some fresh air, but we still need a screen to block the flies and mosquitoes."
That doesn't make it easier for game developers who want to bring some of the biggest franchises to the country.
And some of the biggest console players see the writing all the wall already; both Nintendo and Sony have said that, while they are analyzing the situation, they have no tentative plans to launch any devices in the region. Only Microsoft, who has made some in-roads in the country through major partnerships, seems to be interested in selling consoles there.
Given that the lack of consoles in the country (at least officially) the PC gaming market has grown to a $10 billion a year business, with its only competition coming from smart phones. It's going to be tough for any console system to be sold there when that is the competition it faces and the fact that it will be competing with a gray market where consoles and pirated software are already being sold...