China is finally scrapping its 15-year ban on video game consoles. According to a statement from the country’s Ministry of Culture, companies like Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft — among others — will now be allowed to manufacture and sell video game consoles anywhere in the country. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news earlier today.
Game consoles were first banned in 2000 due to fears that the devices — and the 3D worlds produced by them — had a negative effect on the mental and physical development of children. Last year, China eased those restrictions by letting game console-makers operate in an experimental 11-square-mile area in Shanghai, known as the free trade zone.