Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros jumps into China for first time
Rampant piracy in China has dissuaded console manufacturers from launching their products in spite of the huge market potential
Super Mario fans in China will be able to play the iconic game developed by Japan’s Nintendo for the first time thanks to Nvidia Shield, which has just been launched in the world’s biggest gaming market.
Along with Super Mario Bros Wii, other popular Nintendo games such as The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and PUNCH-OUT!! will also be available in China’s version of Nvidia Shield, a streaming box for TV, video and games developed by the US-based graphics chip maker.
China’s edition of Nvidia Shield, which costs 1,499 yuan (US$226), is a completely localised device, according to Nvidia. It has been designed to work with Baidu’s DuerOS conversational artificial intelligence (AI) system and entertainment options from IQIYI.
More Nintendo games will be made available to the Chinese market next year including Super Mario Galaxy, Nvidia said.
China is the world’s largest gaming market with forecast revenues of US$27.5 billion this year, equal to one quarter of the global share, according to research firm Newzoo.
Nintendo has been particularly hard-hit by piracy, which is rampant in China and has dissuaded console manufacturers from launching their products in spite of the huge market potential. Keen Chinese gamers often have to rely on the black market to find the latest hardware and download copy-cat versions.
Up until 2015 console makers were banned from selling games in China. Only since then, companies such as Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft have been able to manufacture and sell video game consoles in the country without any restrictions. However, video game makers must still comply with China’s strict regulations on content distribution.