It's taken a lot of time, with plenty of bureaucratic wrangling and compromise, but Nintendo has finally launched Switch in China in partnership with Tencent. However, the experience new Switch owners in mainland China are having is quite a bit different from the the rest of us.
As you can see in the photo below via @AndrewAlerts on Twitter, the Tencent Nintendo Switch eShop is hardly bustling at launch, with only New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe currently available on the digital storefront:
Now, NSMBUD is a fine game but still! And here we were thinking a Switch eShop clogged with endless games was a problem!
Interestingly, various differences between the Chinese version of the Switch and the one the rest of the world has are being documented as they're discovered, with Twitter account Chinese Nintendo highlighting some. For example, My Nintendo points can't be redeemed on a Tencent Nintendo Switch, nor can games be backed up to the cloud, so those options are missing from the menu:
It also seems that Chinese amiibo can be scanned without removing them from the packaging, although at present only the three figures from the Super Mario Odyssey wedding set are available. We also noticed that the last amiibo we bought here in the west - a Squirtle, if memory serves - lacked the little foil protector when we unwrapped it, so perhaps Nintendo has given up on that front:
It's certainly interesting to see the subtle differences caused by the Chinese restrictions around selling video games and systems. Follow @chinesenintendo if you're intrigued to see more of the Tencent Switch, and thank your lucky stars for the jam-packed Switch eShop we're enjoying in the west.