Japanese game maker Nintendo and China’s Tencent Holdings will start selling the Switch console in China from December 10, the companies announced Wednesday, as they look to cash in on one of the world’s biggest gaming markets.
Online malls run by Alibaba Group Holding and JD.com began taking orders Wednesday, ahead of the Christmas shopping season. The console is priced at RMB 2,099 (USD 297). The popular New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe game is sold separately and goes for USD 299.
“Nintendo has wanted to offer gaming entertainment to Chinese consumers for ages,” said Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of the Mario series, in a video message. The company has twice failed to enter the Chinese market. It is now partnering with Tencent, the industry leader in a country with high regulatory hurdles.
Companies selling games in China must get licenses from the government to release new products, but screening of new titles was put on hold from March to December last year, due to concerns about the effect of gaming on children.
In October, the government announced new rules banning internet gaming between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. Tencent has been taking steps to limit children’s playing time.