The State Council of China has temporarily removed a 14 year ban on selling video game consoles, sparking a battle for control of one of the most lucrative markets in the world.
Whereas before the likes of Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony had been prevented from selling their wares in the country, a report from Reuters suggests that ‘foreign-invested enterprises’ are now allowed to make consoles within Shanghai’s free trade zone and distribute them around the country with the prior approval of the Chinese government. No information has been provided on how long the ban will be lifted for
China is and has been one of the fastest growing markets in the world over the past few years, with a desire to modernize and a massive population to sell to. Whether or not the majority of the native population will be able to afford to buy consoles is an issue to be considered, but the videogame industry has a history of being able to successfully penetrate poorer foreign markets – for example, Sega proved to be very popular in Brazil and other South American countries during the Genesis era. This will be a story to follow with interest. Continue reading WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 5TH – 12TH JANUARY→
A quick update on some new releases, some delays and some things to look forward to:
The wait for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim fans is finally over, as the first piece of DLC content for the game, Dawnguard, is out now on Xbox Live. Featuring a focus on vampires, it will cost you 1600 MS Points for the privilege, and adds 10 new achievements worth 250 Gamerscore.
Today also marks the end of a long wait for Mass Effect 3 fans, as the controversial ‘Extended Cut’ DLC, aiming to clarify the ending a bit for those who were unimpressed with the original ending, is out now on Xbox Live. It’s a pretty hefty thing to download, weighing in at 1.9GB. I am downloading it as I type right now, and will hopefully have a quick review of it up in the next few days. In the meantime, why not read my review of the game in full?
Pokemon Black 2 And White 2 have sold 1.6 million copies in two days since their release in Japan; it makes them the third fastest selling DS game in Japan, ironically behind the originals which managed to shift 2.6 million copies in the same time.
You may have noticed a trailer for a film called ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ recently – acting as Disney’s big project for this year, the story follows a video game villain looking to become the good guy, and features numerous characters cameos from the gaming world including Bowser, Dr Eggman and Zangief. Aside from looking like a good fun film, it will be getting a tie-in arcade side-scroller game ‘with a modern look and feel’. It will be made by Disney Interactive and published by Activision this Autumn on DS, 3DS and Wii.
Far Cry 3, one of the highlights from this years E3 and a game I have personally been waiting a long time for, has been delayed from September 7th to November 30th. The official line on this is that Ubisoft are taking a bit of extra time to make sure the game is as good as it can be…my personal hunch is that the four player mode demonstrated at Sony’s conference in Los Angeles need fixing after looking buggy as hell in demonstration. In any case, I now worry a bit that this title may be lost in the shuffle at the end of November – at least at the start of September there is nothing else to buy so it would have had an uncontested launch window.
Finally, after years of waiting, Team Fortress 2 is getting a ‘Meet The Pyro’ video tomorrow. Alongside this, a ‘Pyromania’ update has begun bringing new game modes and maps to the hugely successful free-to-play shooter.
Huge news from Valve today; no it’s not the announcement of Half Life 2: Episode 3, but something even better. The world’s #1 war-themed hat simulator, Team Fortress 2, is now FREE TO PLAY. Yep, you can play when you like for as long as you like, and get the benefit of over four years of updates for the game online in the process.
Valve has recently allowed a few free to play games onto its Steam service, including the RPG Forsaken World, but I don’t think many anticipated that Team Fortress 2 would become free to play after the recent uber update for the game, which was the largest amount of content updated since the game’s release in 2007. While I’m sure that many will jump at the chance to get this excellent team based shooter now that it’s free (I have a copy for the Xbox in the form of the Orange Box), don’t feel bad if you have already paid for the game: you are getting upgraded to a premium account free of charge with the update as well.
You can add it to your download queue on Steam now, and in the meantime check out the hilarious ‘Meet The Medic’ video that Valve also released with the uber update.