Nintendo stock is the highest its been in 18 months after the gaming giant began selling the smash-hit Switch console in China this week. Nintendo, whose North American headquarters is based in Redmond, Wash., teamed with Chinese tech giant Tencent to bring the console to the notoriously challenging-to-enter country.
- Mobile and computer gaming are the primary forms of gaming in China, primarily because of a 14-year government ban on consoles that was lifted in 2014. Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation haven’t gained a huge following in China, but Nintendo has a chance to make a move because of the portable nature of the Switch and the fact that several of its major franchises — Mario, Pokémon and Zelda — already have a significant following there.
- Analysts told CNBC that Switch has a chance to become a top-selling console in China. One analyst estimated Nintendo could sell upwards of 10 million Switch units in the console’s lifetime, including approximately 5 million in the first year.
- Nintendo has sold 41.67 million consoles since the device debuted in March 2017, along with 246 million games. The company released a new device in September — the smaller, cheaper Switch Lite that is designed only for handheld play.