The Nintendo Switch is a hugely popular console around the world, helped by family-friendly games Photo: AFP

Tencent, Nintendo to launch Switch console in China on Dec 10


Chinese internet giant Tencent and gaming titan Nintendo on Wednesday announced plans to launch the Japanese company's popular Switch console in China from next week.

Expectations for the console's launch in the world's largest games market has helped to push up Nintendo's share price this year.

The console will be sold in China from Dec 10 for 2,099 yuan ($297), the companies said at a launch event in Shanghai.

"Nintendo has long hoped to provide Chinese consumers with Nintendo's games and entertainment, and now this dream has come true," said Shigeru Miyamoto, the renowned game creator of "Super Mario Bros" and "Donkey Kong", said in a video message.

Nintendo had said earlier this year that it was working with Tencent -- China's leading online video game company as well as a giant in messaging and myriad other apps -- to roll out the Switch in China.

The Switch has become a huge global seller, aided by the release of innovative, family-friendly titles that have been well-received by critics and gamers.

The console will come with "New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Edition" pre-installed, with "Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Edition" and "Super Mario Odyssey" also available soon, company officials said.

Tencent added that it would work to "enrich" the console's game line-up, including with titles created by Chinese developers, and that up to 20 games could be available to play on Switch in 2020.

China in 2014 began easing a more than decade-long ban on consoles imposed out of concern over the negative impact gaming may have on children.

Tencent itself was hammered by a Chinese government games crackdown launched last year that led to a months-long licence approval freeze. The government again cited youth gaming addiction and other concerns as the reason.

The crackdown shaved around $250 billion off Tencent's stock market value by the end of last year.

China also last month imposed a curfew on gamers under 18.

Gaming analysts have said console-makers like Nintendo face an uphill climb in China, where smartphones have become the dominant gaming platform, due in large part to Tencent's success in online games.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Will it have facial recognition?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Interesting. I didn't even know the system wasn't sold in China yet. That explains why so many Chinese tourists love shopping for Switch related items when they come here for travel.

I don't agree that Nintendo has an uphill battle ahead of them considering my previous statement and the fact that the system has a large library of 'pachinko' like games on their free-to-play library. Unless there some legal issues or aesthetic reasons for blocking a game in China, the system will do just fine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

China must be interested in copying the product!

Portable games are very popular in China. I believe more than console especially on the smartphone. These portable consoles have all kinds of bluetooth, WiFi and internet capabilities, but they are harder to track.

There are some Chinese phones that can be converted to a Nintendo Switch type device with a few add-ons attached.

When China wants to compete in a market, first they give that product a license to be sold in the country. Part of that licensing process requires the original company to provide important details about the product under the pretense of "national security". Those details are later given to a Chinese company with close ties the government for copying. That Chinese company immediately becomes a competitor to the original company.

If the technology is very exclusive then China uses corporate espionage!

*Remember! China wants to track their citizens using cellular services and smartphone devices. If they can make their smartphones more game friendly then it would be another reason for citizens to go along with facial scanning and other rules.*****

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The Switch is fading fast in sales worldwide, so this is welcome news.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Wonder how long it will be before games are ripped off, and even the switch itself - China is notorious for such practices. With the Wii you could buy a fully loaded model with pretty much all the Games on an external hard disk for less than the cost of a Wii within Japan...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

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