China has officially approved plans to end a 13-year ban on the sale of video game consoles, at least within a new free-trade zone in Shanghai. It could be a boon for console companies quickly running out of markets.

In this agreement companies like Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo will be able to sell its consoles in China as long as they set up a joint venture with a domestic company. However all games and devices are still subject to the approval and censorship by China's Ministry of Culture.

Gaming in China right now is the domain of PC computers and mobile devices. You may remember fears from some U.S. groups as recently at 2000 that the advanced chips used in the then, PlayStation 2, were so advanced that they could be used to guide cruise missiles. This was later denounced as rubbish but otherwise excellent public relations to show of the power of the PlayStation.

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[Via HollywoodReporter]