OLED In Hand
Image: Nintendo Life

The Switch has been a notable global success since March 2017, and since December 2019 its hardware sales have also included official results from China. The size of the Chinese market makes it a valuable target for the 'big three' console manufacturers, but the country's stringent production regulations and approval processes for games have made the 'grey market' of imports the point of access for most.

Officially launching the original Switch model in late 2019 - in partnership with Tencent - was a notable move for Nintendo, its first official hardware release in the country for well over a decade at that time. While Sony and Microsoft got there first, Nintendo's family friendly library and Tencent partnership have ensured positive results. While the systems are region free and as a result import purchases continue, officially localised games and access to online services are selling points for the licensed iteration. It's worth noting that these sales in China are contributing notably to the system's ongoing success - a little under 10 million standard Switch models have been sold in 'other' territories, which will include countries like Australia, South Korea and of course China.

It's now been confirmed that the Switch OLED model is arriving in China on 11th January. This is notably quick for a new product to get full approval and release in the country, and Daniel Ahmad - Senior Analyst at Niko Partners - has highlighted that Nintendo's system is currently the fastest selling in China, including officially distributed units along with imports.

China is becoming an increasingly important country in the game industry, even if consoles remain relatively minor contributors domestically compared to PC and mobile. Nintendo's distribution partner, Tencent, also continues to make high profile acquisitions and investments in game publishers and developers globally.

It'll be interesting to see how the OLED and original models perform in the coming months.

[source twitter.com]