China suspends ban on foreign consoles

January 7, 2014 by Staff - Leave a comment


After fourteen years, China has suspended the ban that prevented foreign video game consoles from being sold in the country. Foreign companies are now allowed to make consoles in Shanghai’s free trade zone and sell them in China.

The ban was put into place in 2000, because the Chinese government felt video games had negative effects on youth. Ever since then, consoles could only be acquired in China through gray market sales, where a third party would sell them. In 2013, China generated $10 million of revenue from console game sales.

Foreign first party companies such as Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft can now sell their consoles in China themselves, but the suspension of the ban is a temporary one. There has been no indication of how long it will be before it goes back into effect. Nevertheless, for as long as it lasts, this is excellent news for both the companies and gamers in China.

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Microsoft clarifies Skype & Upload Studio bans for profanity

November 26, 2013 by Staff - Leave a comment


You might have come across some recent rumors (probably on Reddit) that Microsoft could ban you for swearing while doing a voice over (for example) in the Xbox One’s video Upload Studio. Other reports have suggested that even saying a swear word during a Skype session will cause Microsoft to get the ban hammer out. Well it turns out that both reports are very misleading at best – you could be banned for behaviour like that, but it’s always been that way.

Microsoft has since issued the following public statement to try and clear things up:

To be clear, the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement team does not monitor direct peer-to-peer communications like Skype chats and calls,” the representative wrote. “Also, we take Code of Conduct moderation via Upload Studio very seriously. We want a clean, safe and fun environment for all users. Excessive profanity as well as other Code of Conduct violations will be enforced upon and result in suspension of some or all privileges on Xbox Live. We remain committed to preserving and promoting a safe, secure and enjoyable experience for all of our Xbox Live members.

So what does that mean exactly? Well when you join Xbox Live you also agree to its Terms of Service. These state that you will not use excessive profanity and other stuff – all the sorts of things you’d expect in any public discussion forum (we need some rules in place don’t we?). So when you break those rules, yes you can expect to get banned or suspended. Does this mean that saying the word “dick” (for example) during a Skype session or over the top of a video will get you in trouble? Probably not, but it’s all a matter of degree and using your common sense – and if in doubt, keep it clean!

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