Nintendo Switch has been approved for sale in China, the world’s largest video games market, two years after its release in the West.
The console will be sold alongside a free “test version” of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.
Foreign game firms typically need to navigate complex regulations in order to release their products in China.
Approval is needed from either the country’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism (for game hardware) or China’s State Administration of Press and Publication (for games).
However, China froze the approval of all video games for most of 2018, leading to a backlog of products that is said to run well in to the thousands.
Nintendo has previously released the N64 and Nintendo 3DS XL in China under iQue branding. However, traditional consoles including those from Xbox and PlayStation have struggled to catch on in the region, with PC and mobile dominant.
“Launching the Nintendo Switch in China is a massive opportunity for both Nintendo and Tencent,” said Gu Tianyi, market analyst with gaming industry analytics firm Newzoo.
“What sets Nintendo apart, however, it that its intellectual property roster – including Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon – is already extremely popular in the market. What’s more, the mobile aspect of the Switch is a great fit for China’s mobile-first culture.”
Tencent is yet to officially comment on the report.