Nintendo Switch Heads to China on December 10th, Priced $300 in Local Currency

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This is not investment advice. The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. has a disclosure and ethics policy.

It's official, at last. The Nintendo (TYO:7974) Switch will launch in China on December 10th, priced at 2,099 yuan, or approximately $300. The bundle will include one year of warranty and the game New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, a great title according to the review of our Nintendo editor Dave Aubrey.

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a great Mario package, although it still feels incredibly familiar. Multiplayer chaos is fun for a short while, but testing your skills against difficult stages is where Super Mario excels, as always. If you've not played a 2D Mario platformer in a while, this is well worth it on the Nintendo Switch, though Wii U fans who've played it before should think twice before purchasing.

The announcement came earlier today from Nintendo and Tencent (HKG:0700), the biggest game publisher in the world who is partnering with the Japanese company on this Nintendo Switch venture. It is the first time Tencent is throwing its considerable weight behind a console hardware launch; the collaboration was announced back in April this year.

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Nintendo shares have risen considerably this year (by about 50%) as rumors and news of the Nintendo Switch Chinese launch intensified. Needless to say, the anticipation is great as China is now the biggest gaming market in the world, though home consoles such as Sony's (TYO:6758) PlayStation and Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox never really thrived there. However, the Japanese company closed down 1.26% today after the Nintendo Switch launch announcement.

Tencent, whose investments in the games industry include the likes of Epic (40%), Riot Games (100%), Activision Blizzard/Ubisoft/Paradox (all at 5%), is working alongside third-party developers from China to make games that can appeal directly to Chinese fans. Meanwhile, Nintendo plans to release the hugely successful hits Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Mario Odyssey in the coming weeks; the Nintendo Switch Lite console is also being prepared for launch in China.

There are however, numerous indications that the Chinese economy is slowing as the ongoing trade war with the US starts to bite. Corporate bond defaults look like they may reach a new high watermark in 2019 after an already record 2018 (check the Finance section for our coverage of this). Given that Chinese GDP numbers are widely viewed as unreliable and people think the country may already be heading into a recession, a slowdown could dampen demand since generally toys and fun items are the first things to go in a slump. Even so, today Nintendo has little to lose from this effort as it doesn't currently sell in the country.

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