Earlier today, Reuters reported that the multinational corporation Tencent Holdings is now allowed to sell the Nintendo Switch in China. Even though the Switch released worldwide two years ago, it was never sold in China because it had to wait for approval from the Guangdong Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism.
While complex regulations in China prevented Nintendo from bringing the Switch to the country until today, market analyst Gu Tianyi from Newzoo is confident the console will prove extremely popular in China. Tianyi believes the Switch’s handheld capabilities will be a “great fit” for the country since it has a large mobile gamer population, and franchises such as Super Mario, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokemon already have established fan bases in China.
Unlike other regional versions of the Nintendo Switch, Tencent will distribute the Switch with test versions of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, as that was apparently a stipulation from the Guangdong Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism.
This partnership isn’t a first for Nintendo and Tencent, as they previously collaborated to port Tencent’s MOBA title Arena of Valor onto the Switch outside of China. On the flipside, however, Nintendo’s presence within China is a long and winding tale.
Despite the country’s large gamer population, the Chinese government placed severe restrictions on what foreign games and game consoles could and couldn’t be sold in China. The government even banned numerous consoles, which resulted in creative solutions such as the China-exclusive iQue line to sell a limited library of Nintendo 64, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo DS/3DS games.
More recently, Nintendo teamed up with NVIDIA (whose chip powers the Nintendo Switch) to produce the Nvidia Shield Nintendo Special Edition. This version of the Nvidia Shield was sold exclusively in China and designed to play older Wii and Gamecube titles, including Super Mario Galaxy, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and Punch-Out!!
Only time will tell if Nintendo and Tencent’s partnership will pay off and if the Switch proves successful in China.