China is Nintendo’s secret weapon at war with PlayStation, Xbox

China is Nintendo's secret weapon at war with PlayStation, Xbox

Animal Crossing on a Nintendo Switch game console.

Photographer: Chona Kasinger / Bloomberg

Photographer: Chona Kasinger / Bloomberg

On the first anniversary of its official launch in China, Nintendo Co.’s Switch can already see itself as the sales champion in a gaming arena that has historically avoided powerhouse consoles like Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp.

The Switch, distributed nationally by entertainment titan Tencent Holdings Ltd., sold more than 1.3 million units this year through legal and gray market channels, according to market monitor Niko Partners. That’s almost double the combined sales of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One during the period, pushing lifetime sales of the Switch in China to …

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