Game over: New game plan

Updated: 2014-08-06 16:21

(Shanghai Star)

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Game over: New game plan

Out of this world: A giant demon from the MMORPG Tera guards the Kunlun booth at Hall N5 of China Joy. Gao Erqiang / Shanghai Star

Game over: New game plan
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Game over: New game plan
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Thirty-year-old Hu Jiangao stands in line with about 20 other men. Bathed in green light and assaulted on all sides by loud blaring sounds, his eyes are fixed on the TV screen ahead of him. He’s been waiting in line for more than 40 minutes to test out the newest racing game on the Xbox One, the first dedicated video game machine to be released inside China since the year 2000.

In a sense, he has waited for more than a decade.

Like many of the people waiting with him, Hu is enjoying the excitement of the 12th China Digital Entertainment Expo, commonly known as China Joy, together with about a quarter of a million other gamers.

Every year, China Joy brings gaming excitement to Shanghai, with halls filled with people, scantily clad showgirls, and the occasional news of new games. This year, things were even hotter than usual.

For the first time in nearly 13 years, a console dedicated to playing video games will be sold in China.

In 2000, through a series of government regulations, dedicated games consoles were prohibited for sale within China. This meant that video game consoles such as the Sony PlayStation 2, Nintendo Game Cube and Microsoft Xbox were locked out of China.

That did not mean Chinese gamers were left high and dry. Online games in China took off into a multi-billion dollar industry. According to the China Internet Network Information Center, as of December 2013, there were over 338 million online gamers within China.

That's more than the entire population of the United States.

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