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China's console market might be small, but it's starting to take shape

Is it worth keeping an eye on the console market in China? Market research outfit Niko Partners certainly thinks so.

Whenever there's chatter about the Chinese video game market, the focus is usually on PC, mobile, and online titles. 

They're the heavy hitters, after all, but a new report from Niko Partners suggests that devs might want to keep an eye on the country's growing console market. 

According to the market research outfit's latest report, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, and even domestic competitors are all active players on the Chinese console market, which is expected to be worth nearly $750 million by the end of 2018. 

While that's still a tiny fraction of the Chinese game market's overall worth -- reported to be around $37.9 billion -- Niko analyst Lisa Cosmas Hanson believes its shows that, despite the barriers to entry, success on consoles in China can still be profitable. 

Moving forward, it also seems likely that the console market will continue to grow, particularly when it comes to software. 

Indeed, Niko expects revenue from console and TV-based game software to total $471 million by the end of 2018 -- a year-over-year increase of 32 percent. 

By 2022, however, the company predicts that figure will reach $897 million, representing a revenue increase of 90.4 percent over that four year period.

As for why the market has started to blossom in recent years, Niko claims the reversal of China's console ban in 2014 combined with lower prices, the introduction of globally recognized brands, and the arrival of online play are all helping to foster growth.

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