Japan's Nintendo Co announced on Wednesday, December 4, that it will officially launch its Switch gaming console in mainland China on December 10, priced at 2,099 yuan ($298) tying up with a local partner Tencent Holdings Ltd. The initial orders for the gaming console began at noon (0400 GMT) on Wednesday. It is a major step in Nintendo's move to expand the reach of the home-portable Switch device beyond its core fanbase as it moves into the end of season sale.
It aims to establish Nintendo's control over China's grey market for the device that includes popular game New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe and a one year warranty. The price has been set in according to countries such as Japan and the United States.
Nintendo is coming up with new titles Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Mario Odyssey in China soon with a launch for its handheld-only Switch Lite device that was sold worldwide in September.
The Tencent powered Switch to access the Chinese internet giant’s services in a few ways, which includes cloud infrastructure for online gaming and the ability to purchase eShop games with WeChat Pay. Tencent will also be putting efforts into the Simplified Chinese localization of games. China is known to be the world's biggest gaming market. The country is dominated by PC and mobile gaming and on the other hand, a lot of gaming consoles are available on the grey market in China.
The president and CEO Shuntaro Furukawa said last month that the official Switch’s one-year warranty and newly localized titles will be available in China on a small scale. Nintendo does not predict an immediate boost in sales. He further added that they have not factored the sales in China into their financial forecast for the current fiscal year and even if the launch occurs they do not expect any significant impact on this year's business.