Nintendo’s hybrid Switch console is finally releasing in China, with Nintendo announcing a partnership with Tencent that will see Tencent providing cloud services, servers and even localisation for some of Nintendo’s biggest games.
The Nintendo Switch was released worldwide on March 3, 2017. China is lagging a little behind, but their draconian rules regarding game releases have made launching games in the country a daunting proposition for many companies that aren’t based in China. Tencent has acted as a launch partner for several western games looking to release in the country, and even own a significant chunk of several different games outfits from around the world, too.
The deal was announced in Shanghai at the ChinaJoy games conference. So far, Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have been announced for the localisation treatment, bringing them to audiences in Simplified Chinese. In addition, the Switch’s eShop will be custom in the country, allowing users to pay using Tencent’s own WeChat payment system.
Related: Best Nintendo Switch Games
We knew this was coming, as Tencent won approval from authorities back in April to start flogging the Switch, however there were still several layers of Chinese bureaucracy for the two companies to navigate before a launch could be achieved. It’s unclear how much of these blockers have been moved, but this public announcement makes it seem at least fairly likely that the launch is going to happen. Considering the huge audience that Tencent could help Nintendo reach in China, the world’s biggest gaming market, it seems worth it.
Consoles have historically had a tricky time in the country. A ban was implemented in 2000 on consoles, and the only other console from the current generation to launch was the PlayStation 4, which launched in 2015 in China.
There’s no launch date or pricing information available at this time.