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The on-going “trade-war” between the United States and China is heating up with threats of increased tariffs. While there are many conflicting reports and opinions on whether it would help or hinder the US economy, the latest proposed tariff could affect video game consoles.
GameDaily reported that the Trump administration is planning a 25% tariff on goods from China. A document published by the Office of the United States Trade Representative lists a myriad of goods.
Some of these include “Radio remote control apparatus for video game consoles,” “infrared video game controllers,” “coin- or token-operated games for arcade, table or parlor,” other game machines that do not utilize coins or tokens, any other “articles nesoi” (Not Elsewhere Specified Or Indicated) needed to run an arcade including spare parts and of course “Video game consoles and machines.” In addition televisions, headphones and microphones are included.
Curiously there is no mention of microchips or other computer equipment. However there is a pre-existing 10% tariff that affects graphics cards, including AMD and Nvidia.
The ESA spoke to GameDaily, stating that “the video game industry boasts a trade surplus for the American economy. Tariffs will hurt the American economy, its industries, and its consumers.”
With new changes on the horizon including the upcoming PlayStation 5; along with Microsoft and Sony’s strategic partnership for cloud gaming, Sony’s CEO claiming gaming consoles are a “niche market” may end up coming true in the worst way. Not to mention this could scupper many 5-year and 10-year plans we are not aware about.
Even physical games would be impacted by this tariff. The list also includes toys, balls, playing cards, “chess, checkers, backgammon, darts and o/table and parlor games played on boards of a special design and parts thereof; poker chips and dice.” This casts a similar shadow of doubt over tabletop games, also suffering from the ever increasing price of plastic and mammoth-sized base-sets.