Nintendo and Tencent earlier announced a partnership that would allow for the Nintendo Switch to be officially released in China—most of the gaming market in the country is taken up by mobile games and PC games, with the ban on consoles only lifted in 2015. Logically, Nintendo now has plans to join Microsoft and Sony in grabbing a piece of the console market in China.
Initial details on their collaborative plans to release the Nintendo Switch in China was announced during the ChinaJoy gaming conference in Shanghai; the Chinese internet company will be supplying cloud and server services for the Switch in China, and they will help with translating games into the Chinese language for the region.
At the moment, iconic titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey are already confirmed, with more games expected to follow. And of course, a big part of the partnership is down to Tencent’s social/mobile payment app, WeChat—users in China will be able to make purchases on Nintendo’s eShop using WeChat as a payment method.
The partnership with Tencent does seem to be a logical step for Nintendo to gain a foothold in China, with the former’s vested interest in game companies such as Riot and Epic putting them in good stead for this next collaborative step. However, nothing is certain with regards to the Chinese market, although the opportunity to expand their business into China is certainly incentive enough.
It’s also interesting to see if Nintendo’s Switch Lite will make more of an impact on gamers in China, given the mobile nature of the new handheld Switch. At the moment, we don’t know when the Switch will be officially released in China, or any pricing details. There’s still a bunch of red tape and regulatory obstacles to cross before we’ll find out more.