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Nintendo shares have made a solid start as the company launched its new Switch video game console.

A hybrid of a home and handheld device, the Switch launches worldwide today, with lucky gamers in Asia the first to get their calloused thumbs on the console.

Shares in the venerable video game company were up 4 per cent in morning trade at ¥23,795 and roughly their high of the day. That put it among the top performers in Japan’s Topix benchmark, which was off 0.2 per cent.

Notwithstanding month-long boosts last year around the times of the Kyoto-based company announcing the console and revealing Super Mario was making his way to the iPhone, Nintendo’s share price has traded in the range of ¥22,000 to ¥24,000.

That is about 25 per cent below the seven-and-a-half-year high hit in July shortly after the smartphone game Pokémon Go was released and made investors believe the company could get its groove back after a multi-year funk without a hit console.

As Japan correspondent Leo Lewis wrote this week, the much-hyped Switch is a make or break moment for Nintendo, which continues to face competition from rivals Sony and Microsoft and has suffered for its long-time reluctance to use its most popular characters in smartphone games.

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