Sony has gained approval to launch the PlayStation 3 in China, a country where games consoles are technically illegal.

Authorities granted the PS3 a "China Compulsory Certificate" in July, Techinasia reports, although the machine has yet to formally materialise. Sony first launched the PlayStation 3 in Japan nearly six years ago.

China implemented its console ban in 2000 to protect the nation's youth - and in doing so created a grey-market for games consoles and arguably encouraged piracy.

Consoles can be sold if labelled as home entertainment devices, which, with its Blu-ray player and various online services, the PlayStation 3 is anyway.

I'm shocked no one is talking about this. This has potential to be VERY huge for Sony.