Nintendo Switch arrives in China via Tencent, but will it sell in a hostile market at the console?


The Guangdong Province Administration has authorized the Tencent gaming company to distribute the Nintendo Switch console throughout China.

According to a Reuters report, the initial wave of Switch consoles will contain a special "test version" of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.

It is not known when the Switch distribution will begin. Representatives of Nintendo informed Kotaku by e-mail: "We will explain this issue further when we are at the stage where we can talk about it."

Games other than New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe are on the way too. The Nintendo Games Library is being validated through the long approval process of Chinese video games.

This news is huge for Nintendo, the country is currently the largest video game market in the world, valued at $ 38 billion in 2018. In comparison, the market for video games in the United States was valued at $ 19 billion a year. same year. Nintendo shares rose 14% in response to the announcement of the Tencent collaboration.

Despite the size of the Chinese games market, consoles rarely succeed. Chinese players tend to prefer playing games on a PC or mobile device. This is partly because of the ban on video game consoles adopted by China in 2000, believing that consoles had a detrimental effect on Chinese youth. The ban remained in effect until 2015. Sony and Microsoft immediately installed their consoles, the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, but sales were hampered by strict censorship laws. The Chinese government refused to let them sell popular games like Grand Theft Auto V and Call of Duty. Nintendo family-friendly franchises may be more fortunate.

Nintendo has already sold gaming devices such as the Nintendo 64 and 3DS XL in China using the "iQue" brand.

Tencent is a massive investment company, with funds in some of the biggest names in the game. They currently own 40% of Epic Games, the developers behind Fortnite and Armament of war. They own the games Riot, the company behind League of Legendsand Supercell, the company behind Clash of clans. The Nintendo deal resulted in a 20% increase in Tencent shares.

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