If Switch owners in the west thought they had to wait a long time for Nintendo's belated Online service to arrive, spare a thought for their counterparts in the east. The service, which launched back in September last year, will finally arrive in South Korea and Hong Kong this spring.

Interestingly, @chinesenintendo, the Twitter account devoted to reporting Nintendo developments in the region, points out the use of Famicom controllers despite labelling the service as 'NES' in both the Simplified and Traditional Chinese banners:

Nintendo N64 IQue Player
The iQue was a canny way for Nintendo to circumvent the console ban — Image: Evan Amos / Vanamo Media

To be fair, while four months is a long time, this is a relatively small delay if you look back over the history of product launches in the region. While South Korea is arguably the home of eSports, conversely, the Chinese government has historically been very restrictive with official releases, digital or otherwise.

Until as recently as 2015, a ban on the sale of video games consoles produced outside the country led to some inventive solutions from the likes of Nintendo and other companies. With that in mind, it's impressive that Switch's online service has come to Hong Kong so quickly.

The Chinese mainland, of course, is another matter entirely. Despite being the largest video game market in the world, companies of all varieties must deal with some very stringent restrictions to get their products on sale in China.

There's no word on pricing just yet, but it's great to see Nintendo slowly expanding the service.

Are you a Switch owner in the region who's been waiting for NSO to arrive? Drop us a line below...

[source twitter.com, via nintendosoup.com]