bart_scriv writes "While lots of ink is being spilled on the Wii/PS3 war, the real battleground for gamers may be in China, where companies Shanda and Netease are fighting for supremacy in the world's largest potential gaming market. The article looks at the companies' dramatically different business models (traditional subscriptions vs. virtual item sales), and offers screen caps of the companies' most popular online games: 'China is even expected to surpass tech-happy South Korea next year as Asia's biggest gaming market. China's overall Internet user base is enormous — about 120 million this year and growing fast. Yet it's a business in flux, and there is a huge debate among companies in this arena about whether to stick to a subscription fee model or go with a free-to-play one to build up a huge online consumer base. The lost revenues would be more than made up by sale of virtual goods (such as ammo for avatars, and so on) and also music and online movies to the legions of gaming fans attracted to its site — or so the theory goes.'"