China is evaluating whether the country's 12-year ban on game consoles should be lifted, but doing so will require the approval of various ministries.
An unnamed source from the Ministry of Culture said in a China Daily report Monday that the ministry is reviewing the policy and have conducted surveys as well as held discussions with other ministries on the possibility of opening up the game console market.
However, the source said since the ban was issued by seven ministries more than a decade ago, it will need the approval from all parties to lift the ban.
The report said the ban on the manufacturing, sale and import of game consoles in China was established in 2000 over the government's concerns about the potential harm on the physical and mental development of the young.
Despite the ban of foreign game consoles, China Daily noted that Sony Computer Entertainment, a subsidiary responsible for Sony's PlayStation business, had set up a branch in South China's Guangdong province in June 2012.
The report added that Microsoft's motion-sensor game console Kinect was released in mainland China in October 2012. However, Zhang Yaqin, chairman of Microsoft's Asia-Pacific Research and Development Group, told the China Daily that the Kinect is not used for games in China but for other purposes, such as medical treatment and education.
Where foreign game consoles are not allowed, local devices emerge. In 2010, Chinese PC maker Lenovo spun off a company which develops motion-detection game console similar to Microsoft's Kinect.