Nintendo has officially announced plans to release the Switch in one of the world's most populous and gamer-rich countries, China. The hybrid console is launching on December 10 in China through a partnership with Chinese internet giant Tencent. The console is officially called the Tencent Nintendo Switch in China, according to analyst Daniel Ahmad who attended the news briefing today.
The console will carry a cost of RMB 2,099 ($300 USD) when it launches, and it comes bundled with a trial/demo version of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and a one-year warranty. Individual games are priced around RMB 299 ($42 USD).
Nintendo and Tencent are working with Chinese indie developers to launch their games on the platform. Check out the image below to see a rundown of partners.
China is a massive country. It has a population of more than 1.3 billion, and its audience for gamer is bigger than the entire United States population.
China's 13-year ban on game consoles ended in 2013, after which Sony and Microsoft brought their current-generation consoles to the country.
While China is now allowing game consoles to be sold, the country still has stringent rules pertaining to game content. Every title released in the country must be approved by the Ministry of Culture. The country does not allow any content that promotes or incites obscenity, drug use, violence, or gambling; games also can't harm public ethics or China’s culture and traditions.
China enacted the console ban in 2000, blocking the sale of systems over concerns about potential harm to the physical and mental development of children. Touch-enabled devices and smartphones, like the iPhone and iPad, were allowed because they are not deemed gaming devices.
Nintendo has sold 41.67 million units worldwide and 246 million games thus far without China, so it will be interesting to see how these figures grow once the console launches there.
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