Briefing: Tencent licensed to distribute Nintendo Switch in China

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腾讯科技确认代理国行版本Switch – ITHome

What happened: China’s Department of Culture and Tourism of Guangdong province approved Tencent on Thursday to distribute Nintendo’s video game console Switch in mainland China. The company also received approval for a Nintendo game released in January 2019, “New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.” Nintendo Switch has been available in most markets since March 2017 but hasn’t been officially distributed in China because of the lack of official approval. The console’s announcement video reached more than 10 million views on YouTube just one day after it was uploaded.

Why it’s important: As a console that sold more than 32 million units as of the end of 2018, Nintendo Switch could form a synergy with Tencent’s hit mobile title “Honour of Kings,” which is already available on the platform, and boost the performance of both in the domestic market. While many Chinese gamers already purchased Nintendo Switch elsewhere, the official distribution of the console, which could mean better technical support, could be a strong incentive to purchase for those who have been eyeing it. However, the issue of accessing the console’s online game store, which sometimes requires the use of VPN from mainland China, has proved to be a problem for other game consoles. It’s likely also to affect Nintendo Switch.