China has always, as Kotaku writes, “cockblocked” consoles. The reasons are manifold, but the official party line is that a ban on consoles will prevent kids from poisoning their minds with video games and gaming. Considering the market is huge in China, fat lot of good the ban did but that’s how things break down.
Now, however, Lenovo is skirting the ban by selling a home entertainment device called the iSec. The iSec is described as having Kinect-like controls and, if that’s the case, could the real Kinect, PS3, and Wii arrive on China’s shores (legally, and not in the grey market) sooner than later?
“Somehow they’re getting away with this where the other console companies are not,” Lisa Cosmas Hanson of game consultants Niko Partners told Reuters. “Let’s say you’re touting this product as a competitor to the Kinect, then why doesn’t Kinect qualify?”
The decision to allow Lenovo to sell the iSec smacks of protectionism but could lead to wider availability of consoles and titles in the China. Considering the original ban cannot be maintained thanks to illicit sales of consoles and software, it’s only a matter of time before the Great Console Wall crumbles.