Nintendo is trying to make inroads in China's big gaming market by giving Mario over to a rival – Quartz

Foreign companies will often make sacrifices just to do business in China and gain access to billions of consumers. For Nintendo, that means handing out one of its signature titles to a rival.

That rival is Nvidia, the chipmaker that dabbles in gaming and that released its Shield TV set-top box in China this week. According to Nvidia’s Chinese site, among the titles that consumers can play on it are three old titles from Nintendo—The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and the retro Punch-Out!!

Giving some of its signature titles to a rival console maker marks a major shift for Nintendo. The company has typically kept games with its most famous characters—Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, and others—available only on its in-house consoles. This has ensured that gamers eager to play a new version of Mario Kart can only do so if they buy a Nintendo machine. It has only recently begun releasing gaming titles for the iPhone—such as Super Mario Run (which flopped) and Pokemon Go (which exploded). Yet letting Mario grace TV screens powered by a non-Nintendo marks an extremely rare move for the Kyoto-based firm.

The titles’ release come as Nintendo faces pressure to grow revenue and profits. Over the past several years, its financials have taken a hit as consumers abandon console gaming in favor of smartphones. To date, an overwhelming majority of Nintendo’s revenue comes from physical hardware and software sales. The Nintendo Switch has generated rave reviews and promising sales. But the smartphone boom has affected the console industry as a whole, meaning that either the Switch must help Nintendo rebound, or it will have to rethink its closed-in strategy.

Meanwhile, China marks an opportunity for Nintendo. The country’s gaming market is valued at $24 billion, and the

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