Nintendo and Tencent team up to release the OLED Switch in China

"The digital store is region locked to China."

Image via Nintendo

Nintendo and Chinese gaming company Tencent are bringing the upgraded Nintendo Switch OLED model to China.

The OLED Switch will be available in China starting on Jan. 11, according to industry analyst Daniel Ahmad. While the system itself is not region locked, the eShop is region locked to China.

The announcement comes after the 2019 release of the original Switch model in China, which was also done in collaboration with Tencent. The Switch is currently the best-selling console in China, beating out both Sony and Microsoft’s competing consoles. Right now, only the standard Switch model is available in the region. The Switch Lite has not yet seen an official release.

While PC and mobile games are immensely popular in China, the console market remains a powerful force, particularly for companies looking to expand their worldwide sales. While it’s a bit of an endeavor for companies like Nintendo to release their consoles and games in China due to the country’s extremely strict market regulations, it’s worth it for the huge potential audience.

The OLED Switch was released in the U.S. on Oct. 8, 2021. Its big draw was its brighter, sharper OLED screen, which enhanced handheld gameplay. It also included enhanced Bluetooth features and other improvements over the existing Switch. Like many consoles, the OLED Switch is difficult to find now due to manufacturing delays and chip shortages.