The Nintendo Switch finally made its first debut in China and could become one of the biggest consoles in the Asian country if the company plays its cards right since its in a market dominated mostly by free-to-play mobile games.
The Japanese video game maker launched its popular Switch console in China causing its stock to jump up by more than 2.2% on Tuesday, hitting their highest since May 9, 2018.
News about the Nintendo Switch coming to China came to light a week ago when an official Chinese variant of the console was announced by Tencent and Nintendo. By then, the console was expected to launch with a copy of the new Super Mario Bros. Deluxe costing 2,099 yuan (~$297).
By Monday, over 100,000 people had made a reservation to buy the Nintendo Switch on one of the popular e-commerce sites JD.com though reservations don’t always end up in actual sales until people buy the console.
The Nintendo Switch console is expected to sell around 100,000 units by year end
However, according to reports, it seems Tencent and Nintendo are only releasing the original Switch model, not the smaller and cheaper Switch Lite as predicted by some. The preorders start today in China and the console is expected to sell around 100,000 units by year end.
Nintendo has already sold 41.67 million units of the Switch globally since it was released worldwide in March 2017. Wedbush Securities estimates that Nintendo will likely sell no more than 10 million units of the Switch in China over the console’s lifetime, but said it’s possible it may see sales of 4 million to 5 million in the first year.
The Japanese video game maker worked with Chinese gaming giant, Tencent to bring the console to the market and its also evident that Nintendo will make use of the Chinese internet giant’s services such as 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 on the Switch platform in the next coming years.
Tencent is an Internet-based platform company using technology to enrich the lives of Internet users and assist the digital upgrade of enterprises across the country.
Despite China being the world’s biggest gaming market, the official launch of the Switch may not be a big footprint for Chinese gamers since the country is highly dominated by PC and mobile gaming with imported consoles having a grey market.
“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.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.