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Beijing approves domestic sale of Super Mario for Nintendo Switch

Move brings game console a step closer to market in China

Japanese game maker Nintendo has been promoting its Switch console at events such as this game show held in Shanghai in August. (Photo by Naoki Matsuda) 

GUANGZHOU -- China's media and games authority on Tuesday gave the go-ahead for the sale of a new Super Mario game for Nintendo's Switch console, paving the way for the Japanese game maker to sell the console in the key market.

The new Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe had, up to now, received permission for sale only from local authorities. With the authorization from the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, Nintendo appears on the verge of selling the game and console in China.

The company previously unveiled a plan to introduce the Switch in China, in collaboration with Tencent Holdings, after the game's test version was approved by Guangdong provincial authorities. Now that it has been approved by the central government, the partners are expected to announce soon when the products will go on sale, and through which channels.

Uncertainty remains, however, as to whether the government may eventually block their sale. In 2018, Beijing tightened restrictions on the sale of games, citing negative effects on children and teenagers. In August, it the banned sale of Capcom's Monster Hunter: World game. It has also suspended screening of new game titles.

Meanwhile, Nintendo's representative director, Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of the Mario series, was honored by the Japanese government on Tuesday, as a "Person of Cultural Merit." The award is given annually to people who have made outstanding contributions to Japanese culture.

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