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The Nintendo Switch is launching in China next week

The Nintendo Switch is launching in China next week


Tencent-powered variant drops on Dec 10th

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Photo by James Bareham / The Verge

The official Chinese variant of the Nintendo Switch will launch in mainland China next week, Tencent and Nintendo have announced. The bundle will sell for 2,099 yuan (~$297) and includes a copy of New Super Mario Bros. Deluxe. That’s the only title officially approved for sale so far, according to China gaming analyst Daniel Ahmad of Niko Partners, although other games like Mario Kart 8 and Super Mario Odyssey are also confirmed to be on the way.

So far it looks like Tencent and Nintendo are only releasing the original Switch model, not the smaller and cheaper Switch Lite. Preorders start today in China, and the console will formally go on sale on Tuesday, December 10th.

As was previously announced, the Tencent-powered Switch makes use of the Chinese internet giant’s services in a few ways, including cloud infrastructure for online gaming and the ability to buy eShop games with WeChat Pay. Tencent will also be working on the Simplified Chinese localization of games.

China is the world’s biggest gaming market, but the official release of the Switch won’t necessarily be a big deal for Chinese gamers — or Nintendo itself. The country is dominated by PC and mobile gaming, while imported consoles are widely available on the grey market.

The official Switch’s one-year warranty and newly localized titles will be welcome for some in China, but even Nintendo doesn’t predict an immediate boost in sales. “We have not factored the sales in China into our financial forecast for the current fiscal year, and even if the launch does occur during the current fiscal year, we do not expect a significant impact on this year’s business results,” president and CEO Shuntaro Furukawa told investors last month.