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December 5, 2019

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Tencent to sell Switch console on mainland

China’s Tencent is to sell Nintendo’s Switch game console on the Chinese mainland from next Tuesday, the company said yesterday.

Switch’s debut, first announced during ChinaJoy in Shanghai this summer, is expected to inject fresh energy into the Chinese game market, one of the biggest in the world.

The console will cost 2,099 yuan (US$300), with a new game — New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe.

More games, costing 299 yuan, are in the pipeline, including Nintendo’s Super Mario and Pokemon Go series.

About 20 games will be available for Switch next year. Future games will also come from Tencent and third-party firms including Chinese developers, according to Tencent.

“Nintendo has long hoped to provide Chinese consumers with Nintendo’s games and entertainment and now this dream has come true,” Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Super Mario Bros, said.

Expectations of the console’s launch have pushed up Nintendo’s share price this year.

In the first six months of 2019, China’s gaming industry revenue hit 114 billion yuan, up 8.6 percent year on year. Shanghai now accounts for a third of the national revenue, according to a China Gaming Industry Report released during ChinaJoy.

Switch has become a huge global seller, aided by the release of well-received family-friendly titles. By March, world sales of Switch will hit 18 million units, according to Nintendo.

In 2014, China began easing a more than decade-long ban on consoles imposed over concerns about the possible negative impact of gaming on children.

Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation have since been released on the Chinese mainland to a lukewarm response.


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