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Editor's words: 13 years ago, a ban on the domestic game host market closed, 13 years later, the FTA ban game equipment production and sales to Microsoft, Sony shares soared. Now, new opportunities stand in front of them, Microsoft, Sony only to do from the domestic market in many terminals, "Rob" back to the user's time.
Recently, the State Council issued the overall program of Shanghai FTA, according to the plan, Shanghai FTA allows foreign enterprises to engage in game entertainment equipment production and sales, through the cultural authorities to review the content of game entertainment equipment for domestic market sales.
This means that China's 13-year ban on game consoles, which began in 2000, has been largely lifted.
In fact, over the past two years there have been different rumors that China will ban the game host, but each time is not a matter of nothing, is officially denied.
Last time, it was a game terminal product that the Chinese company and Microsoft cooperated to set up a joint venture in China and planned to restart the game console Xbox One. Many in the industry interpret it as a move by Microsoft to get the Xbox curve into China.
Because of the current game host of alternative products are rapidly developing, the popularity of smartphones occupy people a lot of time, the game host in the international market after the sales have fallen back, even have been said that "game host will die." The general plan of the Shanghai FTA is undoubtedly opening up the huge market for the game host manufacturers.
However, the game host market in the country can be said to have disappeared for many years, how to recapture the user time in a variety of intelligent terminals, and in the content of the operation can be consistent with the Chinese game user habits of the business model, may be Microsoft, Sony and other manufacturers need to think of a problem.
From the classic red and white machine, the game host carrying 70, this generation of people's memories, now whether to create brilliance again?
The way of lifting the game host market
Speaking of this game host has been lifted, had to mention 13 years ago the seven ministries issued jointly "44th". June 2000, the State Council forwarded the Ministry of Culture and other 7 departments, "on the development of electronic game management sites," the idea of specific governance, began to target the domestic game machine market governance work.
In the above views, including the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Information Industry (Ministry of Technology predecessor), including the 7 departments of the provisions "from the date of publication of this opinion, for domestic video game equipment and its 0, accessories production, sales stop." Any enterprise or individual may no longer engage in the production and sales activities of video game equipment and its 0, accessories for domestic.
Under the ban, many game makers are trying to evade risk in different ways to enter the domestic market. Nintendo, for example, now sells the latest handheld 3DS XL in a iQue brand.
And Sony's path is more tortuous. 2000 launched the game Machine Playstation2 began, Sony Computer Entertainment and Sony China in the joint push into China, but unfortunately because of "article 44th" and ended. Then Sony Computer Entertainment began to try to run the matter alone, but did not make clear progress, 2008 Sony Computer Entertainment announced the withdrawal of the Chinese market.
By July 2012, Sony Computer Entertainment Guangzhou branch officially completed, mainly responsible for "software personnel training." At this point there is said that the domestic game host ban may be loose.
In January this year, it was rumored that the relevant ministries were reviewing the ban on game-machine sales that had been in play for more than 12 years, and considered reopening the gaming machine market. The news came as Sony and Nintendo, two of Japan's biggest game-makers, Rose 8.8% to a April 2012-year high, while Nintendo's shares rose 8.2% to a record high since August 2011. But officials at the Ministry of Culture later denied the news.
In July, there was media coverage of the upcoming release of game consoles, but the host of games sold in China must be assembled and manufactured in the forthcoming Shanghai free Trade area.
On the evening of September 23, the company announced a partnership with Microsoft and agreed to jointly fund 79 million U.S. dollars to form a joint venture. Among them, hundred-Vision shares 51%, Microsoft accounted for 49% of shares.
The cooperation between the two sides includes the production and sale of terminal equipment such as game consoles and related games and entertainment software. By Microsoft to provide Xbox related technology, by the OTT license and some of the film and television resources to jointly launch a new brand of home game terminal products, initially named "Bestpad." The news, it is widely believed that video game consoles will become a reality.
On September 27, after the Shanghai FTA was announced, it seemed that a piece of salt was sprinkled in the hot pot in the game industry.
The announcement of the partnership will be good for companies with game consoles like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo. At the same time, for the industry as a whole, the industry told reporters, as a result of the FTA, the domestic game ban policy on the obstacles have been gradually lifted.
Sony China told reporters that the release of the game consoles in mainland China, Sony recognized that the mainland market has great potential, has been actively engaged in preparing the parties, but there is no public information available.
When the game was lifted in July this year, Nintendo, the console maker, also said, "If there is a major change, it will be a chance for us." We are ready to do that. ”
Shillon, senior analyst at Analysys International, said in an interview that this is a good message for game makers, but there are a lot of uncertainties.
Does the game maker have a chance?
For game OEMs, lifting the ban is just the beginning.
"First of all, the content of the game still needs to be approved by the Ministry of Culture, or there is a lot of resistance, including domestic users to pay for the game has not yet formed." "Because of the serious domestic piracy, many game makers have opened up the way to charge in the course of the game," Shillon said.
In fact, for the game machine manufacturer, the hardware profit is not the most important or even lose money to sell, more game machine manufacturers rely on selling game software to two times value-added.
Shillon told reporters that for the domestic market, game consoles might have to make changes in the business model. "From the traditional way of selling games to the game free, selling props mode, perhaps more in line with the habits of Chinese game users." Shillon said.
"There is no content in the domestic classification system, in the import of cultural products on the audit is relatively strict." "Guangzhou a game mainframe parallel to tell reporters, the domestic so many years in the ban game machine, has not been a talent value of the market, the level of developers are running to develop other terminals of the game products." "This market can be regarded as a new start, but the lack of talent to develop host games, domestic content issues remain to be solved." Arvin told reporters.
As a result of the ban, the game host can not appear in the normal sales channels, has been the game users are generally from the hands of parallel imports of products purchased.
"In general, the price of parallel imports will be cheaper than the licensed hundreds of yuan, but even if the market is now licensed, if the price does not have the advantage, I think the relatively few gamers will pay to buy the licensed." Arvin told reporters.
After 6 years of silence, Sony and Microsoft have updated their game consoles this year. But with the rise of smartphones and tablet computers, the quality of PC games is rapidly improving, the rapid development of these alternatives, whether the game host can regain the glory of the past, all have a doubt.
And throughout the international market, the development of the game host is not a favorable weather. Recently, the market advisory Body Furturesource Consulting to Sony, Microsoft's two new mainframe to make predictions, that Sony this year's launch of the host PS4 will eventually surpass Xbox One, but can not catch up with their predecessors, or even the end of the game host.
Arvin told reporters that year's PS and PS2 era, the game host in the graphics performance and many other aspects than the same generation of PCs. "At that time 3D graphics technology appeared, the PC is still very weak in this area, but today all equipment image processing technology, gaming experience is improving, the game host increasingly become some ' die-hard fans ' plaything." Arvin told reporters.
In other words, the rapid development of alternative products, leading to the current mainframe manufacturers to open up new markets to improve sales, has encountered a certain bottleneck.
In fact, this "game host will die" argument is not the first day to appear. In this regard, the launch of Microsoft's Xbox One this year said the product not only focuses on the traditional game host functions, but also highlights the interaction with TV and applications, positioning it as a full-time "multimedia center product." Microsoft, in addition to developing and releasing the Xbox One new game, is also committed to making TV shows on Xbox Live.
Shillon told reporters, now the manufacturers launched smart TV and boxes, are to seize the living room time. And besides TV movies, playing games has been a very important application scenario.
After the lifting of the ban, game host manufacturers will be how to play, let us wait and see.
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