Gaming in China

Discussion in 'Console Industry' started by tuna, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. tuna

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    So I am currently in China with my wife wisiting here family. To kill the dead time I thought I would give you my impressions of the console oriented gaming scene here.

    Arcades/Game centers
    It seems like the game centers have exploded here. I am staying in Qingdao (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qingdao) which has around 3 million inhabitants. When I first traveled here in 2004 I couldn't find any game centers. This time I've been to seven.
    They all seem to have second hand japanese cabinets along with the Rambo shooting game (all game centers I've been to have had the Sega Rambo shooting game). One even had Daytona 2 Power Edition in really good condition! I'm currently on top of the ranking list...
    Some places have converted PS2/XBox games to arcade cabs. One place had the XBox version of OutRun2:C2C in an arcade cab, but most places seem to have the official stuff.

    Will post more later, tired....
     
  2. Silent_Buddha

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    Interesting. But it makes sense that emerging economic countries would have the greatest potential for your traditional "Arcade."

    The population is growing more affluent making more of the general populace aware of luxuries such as electronic gaming, yet the majority still can't justify the expense of personal dedicated gaming machines. I wonder if there's a similar situation in India with regards to arcades?

    Regards,
    SB
     
  3. Shifty Geezer

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    How do they retrofit consoles to be coin operated? Or what other revenue stream do they use?
     
  4. Nesh

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    I have seen lots of these console modifications in my area as well.

    I dont know how they do it but they manage to make the console exist inside a cabinet that accepts coins.

    It does not work as a normal cabinet though where you can play as long as you have lives. It gives you a time limit.

    The XBOX cabinets are usually the most popular ones because they are easy to pirate. They change the OS and HDD and fill it up with tons of games to vhoose from through a menu screen.

    There is an insert coin indicator all the time and the time limit is presented also on screen.

    Some have the actual controllers on the cabinet and some modify it in such a way that you actually use the cabinet arcade sticks.

    They also link the cabinets together to play "online" or locally
     
  5. Shifty Geezer

    Shifty Geezer uber-Troll!
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    Okay, thanks. I see how that could be engineered.
     
  6. Dr Evil

    Dr Evil Anas platyrhynchos
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    The police does nothing to stop them? I didn't know piracy was so rampant in Greece too, that people can actually run a business based on pirating stuff.
     
  7. obonicus

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    I've seen PS3s hooked up in a similar fashion, in some arcades.
     
  8. Nesh

    Nesh Double Agent
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    Distribution of pirated games is illegal. But for some reason modified consoles to work as cabinets are not despite that the console is actually a pirated version with ton of games copied on HDD which apparently have been downloaded from the internet
     
  9. Grall

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    That's a very intriguing theory! It makes a lot of sense, actually.

    In the 1980s primarily here in the west, which is when the arcade market peaked I believe, the success of the arcade wasn't so much that people couldn't afford home consoles, but rather that consoles in order to be cheap enough to be mass-produced, were so much more inferior technically to the arcade games.

    If you wanted pretty graphics, you had to go to an arcade and feed the coin slots. There was no other way around it.

    Oooh. To be back in the mid-80s... It would actually be worth losing all my nifty gadgets just to live through that era again. *nostalgia!*

    Also, the music was hella better back then than effing britney spears and all that crap that came later. :D
     
  10. tuna

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    Portable consoles
    Games and consoles are only available from specialist shops or stands at the indoor electronical markets they have here (except for the Ique DS). I've seen a few people on buses and such with PSPs, and there are also quite a lot of places that sell them. I haven't seen anyone using a DS, but they sell those as well. Some bigger department stores has the official Ique DS.

    I assume that most people with the PSP use it to play pirated content. I only saw actual UMD discs at one place. My wife bought my PSP-2000 for me two years ago, flashed and ready to go. I don't know how they handle it now since I belive you can't flash the latest model (I might be wrong though), but maybe they have some old stock? I also saw a lot of R4 carts for DS.
     
  11. ultragpu

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    A different City like Shanghai is much more home console oriented though. Most household owns a ps2 and a xbox360 these days since they are most pirated. PS3 is actually selling a lot cheaper than a 360 there and still no body would buy it simply due to the impenetrable blu-ray copy right protection. Xbox360s in particular, are selling hot cakes last time I visited.
     
  12. tuna

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    Consoles
    You can buy modded 360, Wii and PS2 and their games at most shops. They also have PS3's, but they don't seem that popular (I did not do a market survey, I just looked what they displayed). I looked around for Red/Blue PS3 controllers and some shops had them, but they were cheaper online so I went that route instead. Some shops also had imported PS3 games like FF13 and GoW collection. No shops had official games for any of the cracked consoles. Shops that sold PS3 also sold Blu-ray movies.

    (BTW, slightly OT, but a lot of places, like Wal-mart, sold these Blu-ray/DVD9 discs that promise 1080p in your dvd. I don't really know what these are, but will buy one and try out.)
     
  13. patsu

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    They may be China's HD-DVD variant. It could also be a DVD disc with Blu-ray paper jacket (complete with Blu-ray logo) outside. ;-)

    How is online gaming in China these days ? The Chinese government clamped them down.
    [EDIT: Like this... http://kotaku.com/5440243/wows-chinese-future-still-up-in-the-air]

    Also is Internet cafe still prevalent ? When I was there years ago, they seem to be rather popular. People watch VoD movies and play online games there.
     
  14. Nesh

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    Yeah I think a similar thing also applies for Saudi Arabia (not UAE). There I noticed something that looks like a paradox. Game piracy might end you up in jail and large fines. And believe me jail in SA is not pretty. I knew of such an occasion where someone was arrested for selling them.

    Yet, the periods I used to visit the country, the most pupular consoles have been those that are the easiest to pirate. The original games were the hardest to find and selection was limited. But almost everywhere you could find TONS of pirated games. The selection of pirated games was OMG. They even sold pirate-ready consoles simply like that.

    I suspect that the appeal of Playstation consoles might be reduced in that region since PS3 is still "uncracked".
     
  15. ultragpu

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    Yeah. LAN cafe is still running hot, people play DOTA, CS and streaming movies day and night, well save for youtube.
     
  16. Rurouni

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    Basically the games are just to pricey for those countries. They can justify the initial cost for the hardware, but the problem with console games (and probably most PC games) is that the game price isn't following the economy of those countries. If I were to buy local music CD on those countries, it would be cheaper compared to music CD on the US. But original game prices tend to be at least the same if not more expensive compared to the US or even Europe (at least it used to be, don't know now)! How do you expect them to buy original games if they were priced out of reach for many people on those countries?

    Btw, do anyone know original game price in countries such as China, India, Singapore, Korea (and probably elsewhere outside the US, EU, Japan)?
     
  17. pcchen

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    In Taiwan, imported games (mostly Japanese games) are priced at Japanese prices, so they are very expensive. In the past, most console games are imported. Now more and more games are "Asian" editions which are in English or even Chinese. These are priced more reasonably, generally about half the Japanese prices. All consoles in Taiwan are basically Japanese region coded (i.e. they can all play Japanese games unmodified).

    PC games are always priced "locally" except those imported collector's editions.
     
  18. Rurouni

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    What console in terms of original games pricing is the most local friendly? or Sony,MS, and Nintendo all release their game locally with cheaper price than US/JP? Is the localized version of the game definitely in English or publisher can choose between English and Chinese?
     
  19. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
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    Now you can find Traditional Chinese games for all consoles, mostly those major games are the mostly likely to be translated, such as Little Big Planet. All three consoles have Traditional Chinese interface.

    These "Asian edition" games have different languages. Some are Japanese only, some are Japanese/English dual or English/Chinese dual, and some are English only. These are all marked "export" only (i.e. they can't be sold in Japan because they are much cheaper).
     
  20. infinity4

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    The thing is right, the economy is getting better. But people would not spend money on games for

    - The fact that video games are not necessary for their lives
    - The fact that you are thought to be a crazy person when you spend money one something that you don't need to

    Even Japanese buy a lot of pirated games, especially NDS (no more further details). If you go to Akihabara in centre of Tokyo you will be amazed at what you see there.

    And localization is another thing. Developer chooses not to localize due to poor sales, leads to poor sales and the cycle goes on. Sometimes they are generous enough to translate even voices but then sales aren't that much better either, and they don't like it! Japanese complained about MW2 localization and Square Enix (who published the game) are considering putting english DLC as an alternative.
     
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