Nearly 3 years after first unveiling the Switch, Nintendo is finally bringing its wildly popular game console to China. The game company is getting some help from Tencent, which will operate a localized version of the Switch’s online shop that will work with its WePay electronic payment service.
Tencent will also localize some of Nintendo’s most popular first-party games, as well as some third-party titles. The partnership was officially announced at a joint press conference in Shanghai Friday, where it was also announced that Tencent’s cloud infrastructure will power Nintendo’s online services in China.
Tencent is said to help Nintendo with setting up a retail presence in the country, but it’s still unclear when Chinese consumers will actually be able to pick up a Switch in stores. The two companies didn’t share a launch date for the Switch in China yet, and there’s no word on pricing either.
Reuters first reported in April that Nintendo was looking to sell the Switch in China. However, entering that market will come with some extra challenges: China’s censors have been notoriously slow in reviewing video games, and at one point even took a 9-month break during which no new games were approved for sale.
Chinese regulators are looking to process around 3000 games this year, but are reportedly dealing with a backlog of over 7000 titles looking for approval.