Tencent kick off sales of Nintendo’s Switch console on e-commerce platforms JD.com and Tmall on Dec. 10, media outlet 36Kr reported.
Why it matters: In addition to securing the rights to distribute Nintendo Switch in China, Tencent has also been leveraging its partnership with the Japanese publisher to create console titles for the US market.
Details: The first batch of games to become available on the console in China are “Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe,” “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” and “Super Mario Odyssey,” Tencent said at a Wednesday product release event. It will be selling the latest version of the console featuring battery life improved by two hours—first available in other markets in mid-August—for a recommended price of RMB 2,099 (around $300).
- Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe will be available for purchase on Dec. 10 on Nintendo eShop’s China store, while the two other titles will be released in a few weeks.
- All three titles will be priced at RMB 299, significantly lower than the $59.99 (around RMB 424) charged in Nintendo’s US store.
- Due to localization difficulties, popular Switch titles such as “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” wasn’t included in the first batch of available games, said Xu Geng, head of Tencent’s Nintendo cooperation department.
- Users will be able to purchase Switch games using WeChat Pay.
Context: Tencent was given the green light to distribute Nintendo’s Switch in April.
- In July, Tencent started recruiting analysts and developers for its new Nintendo cooperation department.
- Tencent officials told the Wall Street Journal in November that they had modest hopes for Switch because Chinese customers are more used to playing video games on smartphones and PCs.