It appears that Nintendo’s hybrid console is about to enter a new market. First reported by Reuters, Nintendo and the Chinese tech giant Tencent have gained approval to start selling the Nintendo Switch in China. In a statement from the Guangdong province authorities, Tencent will be able to start distributing the Nintendo Switch along with a “test version” of the recently released New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe in the country.
This approval can be seen as a massive win and opportunity for Nintendo and Tencent. China has been notorious for how difficult it is for a console to release and do well in the country. There was a 14 year ban on console sales until the release of the Xbox One there in 2014. The PlayStation 4 would release in the country shortly thereafter in early 2015. However, both consoles have yet to find much success in the marketplace. Last year, the country put a ban on all game approvals that lasted months until being lifted late last year.
The Nintendo Switch may have an advantage in the Chinese market compared to its competition. In a statement to Reuters from Gu Tianyi, a market analyst with the analytics firm Newzoo:
What sets Nintendo apart, however, it that its intellectual property roster – including Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon – is already extremely popular in the market. What’s more, the mobile aspect of the Switch is a great fit for China’s mobile-first culture.
The Nintendo Switch has already achieved massive sales success since its release in March 2017. The console had surpassed 32 million units sold worldwide at the end of last year. It was also the best selling console in the U.S. last year. Now, with the console being approved for sale in China, sales of the console will only continue to increase. There are also reports that Nintendo has two new models of the console in development, so the future of the hybrid system looks bright.