- The Nintendo Switch will be released in China on December 10.
- Nintendo‘s portable video game console has already sold more than 40 million units worldwide, and China is the world’s biggest market for video games.
- Nintendo has partnered with Tencent, one of China’s largest companies, to make the deal possible; Tencent will handle Switch sales in the country.
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The Nintendo Switch will be released in China on December 10, bringing Nintendo’s flagship device to the world’s most valuable gaming market more than two years after its release.
Since its launch in March 2017, the Nintendo Switch has become the fastest-selling video game console in the world with more than 40 million units shipped worldwide. The hybrid video game console is home to popular Nintendo-exclusives like “Super Mario Bros.,” “The Legend of Zelda,” and “Pokémon,” and its portability has made it a popular second console for gamers who already own a PlayStation, Xbox, or PC.
China is a brand new horizon for the Switch
China spends more on gaming than any other country in the world. NewZoo estimates that Chinese consumers will spend $36.54 billion on video games in 2019. However, China also has strict restrictions on what types of games and technology are allowed into the country.
To make the deal possible, Nintendo has partnered with Tencent, the titanic Chinese technology and media conglomerate, which will handle sales in the country. Tencent is one of China’s biggest companies and the largest video game publisher in the world, with significant holdings in popular American video game companies like Riot Games, Activision Blizzard, and Epic Games.
Last year, the Chinese government overhauled its process for approving new video games, preventing hundreds of games from being released. The Online Games Ethics Committee in charge of approvals has slowly been working through a backlog of titles that includes Switch games. Nintendo’s first-party games are family-friendly so it’s unlikely that they’ll offend Chinese regulators, but Nintendo will still have to go through the approval process.
As long as Nintendo and Tencent can keep a steady stream of new Switch games coming to the Chinese market, the Switch should continue to grow in popularity. Given the global success of the Switch and Nintendo’s iconic status in the video game industry, it’s hard to imagine that the Switch won’t be a massive hit in China.