2012年11月19日 星期一



“自2000年起政府就對遊戲機下達了禁令。”Niko Partners的市場調研員Lisa Hanson告訴媒體,“政府認為保護該國遊戲產業的最好辦法就是利用家長想要保護自己孩子健康成長的心態制定政策。”但次年網游市場的爆發性增長將市場規模擴大到了1億美元左右,“所以禁令事實上並未解決問題。”


隨後,即插即用的“神遊機(iQue Player)”成為首款合法上市的遊戲主機。這是任天堂專門針對中國大陸的特殊市場推出的N64改良版主機,在藉助了總部設在美國加州的AiLive公司(任天堂Wii MotionPlus的聯合研發公司)聯合創始人顏維群的華裔背景後,終於得以在中國大陸合法推出。這款機器售價60美元,玩家可以在上面玩到諸如《超級馬里奧64》、《塞爾達傳說時光之笛》、《任天堂明星大亂鬥》這樣的經典作品。需要購買遊戲時玩家則需要前往當地的授權零售商處,付費後將游戲下載到一塊64MB容量大小的閃存記憶卡中。回家插上電源就可以直接玩耍,遊戲主機和手柄已是完全一體化。



至今,被取締了的遊戲機在中國仍是通過灰色市場進行著非法銷售。 Lisa Hanson指出,許多玩家購機時都會同時改裝機器以便能運行盜版軟件。因為PS3無法盜版,所以它在當地的市場份額是三款主機中最低的。

由於目前沒有一個主管部門對遊戲機有著明確的管理職責,所以這項禁令何時取消仍不得而知,政府也陷入了兩難的境地。 Lisa Hanson預計文化部最有可能獲得這一主管權限,不過在此之前,中國仍將繼續著以水貨為主導,盜版為龍頭的遊戲機產業。



Video game consoles are illegal in China. Ironically, the Wii, the PS3 and the Xbox 360 are Chinese-made. And there is a flourishing PC gaming culture. There has to be a reason for this ban. Turns out, there is.

  “Plug ‘n’ play consoles became a legal alternative to the banned home consoles. Nintendo released the iQue Player, a console it developed with software developer Wei Yen, whose California-based company AiLive co-created the Wii MotionPlus. The iQue Player was priced at US$60, and it is not a pure plug ‘n’ play per se. Players can play Nintendo 64 games like Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Super Smash Bros. that were specifically ported to the system. To get new games, players go to their local game retailer, where they can download more games onto a 64MB flash memory card. The cartridge is slotted directly into the controller, which houses the console.

  “We have targeted people in developed countries such as Japan, the US and Europe with sophisticated machines,” Nintendo president Satoru Iwata said back in 2003. “To reach a wide range of people in China, especially those inland who are not as rich as those in coastal areas, we thought we needed to deliver a cheaper console.” And to legally sell a video game console in Japan, it had to sell something that not only didn’t quite look like a video game console and couldn’t be pirated to Timbuktu and back. (That’s not to say the iQue Player is piracy free!)Consoles have been banned in China since the year 2000,” Lisa Hanson from market researcher Niko Partners tells Kotaku. “The government thought that was the best way to protect Chinese youth from wasting their minds on video games, after a parental outcry.” The following year, online gaming exploded, and the market size hit $US100 million. So the ban, Hanson says, “didn’t stop the ‘problem’。”

  A recent article on Chinese news site Sina.com points out, “In June 2000, the Ministry of Culture issued a notice, forbidding any company or individual to produce and sell electronic game equipment and accessories to China.”

  Software piracy is a huge problem in China, and that might be why game company are hesitant to enter the Chinese market, but it’s not why video game have been outlawed. Nintendo legally released its portable Nintendo DSi in Chinese stores in December 2009. Nintendo has yet to release its Nintendo Wii in mainland China.

  Likewise, neither Sony nor Microsoft have released their consoles in the mainland. Sony and Microsoft, however, do have a Hong Kong branches and have released their home consoles in that territory. Heck, there are even PS3 demo units at the Hong Kong airport. Sony might still be smarting to what happened to the PS2.

  The console ban does exist on paper, but it is not strictly enforced. Piracy, on the other hand, is doing more to keep game consoles out of China than any government edict ever could. Sony released the PlayStation 2 in China in January 2004. The launch was a disaster with rampant game piracy and of the hardware itself. While it wasn’t exactly the financial success Sony might have been hoping for, it did built a brand name for the company. Nintendo’s Wii has been copied by a Chinese company and released as the “Vii”, a game system that runs preloaded motion controlled games. Sony’s PS3 has been knocked off as “The Winner”。 Pirated versions of console and PC games are prevalent. There are also cafes that offer players the chance to play video game consoles.

  Game consoles do make their way into China through the grey market, where they are bought and sold illegally. Hanson at Niko Partners points out that gamers get their grey market consoles modded so they can play pirated games for either free or on the cheap. “The PS3 is hard to play pirated games on,” says Hanson, “so it has the lowest share of the three brands.”
  There is no regulatory body to oversee video game consoles, creating a bureaucratic quagmire for the ban. Hanson, however, speculates that the Ministry of Culture might eventually get that role. Since there is no body to monitor the game consoles, there is no governmental body to determine whether or not to overturn the ban on consoles, creating a Catch-22. Until then, expect grey market sales will continue to dominate, if anything out of necessity.

Posted via email from George 資訊

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