Has Nintendo Doomed The Switch?

Nintendo have now announced the price for the Nintendo Switch, and it isn’t looking good. Retailing at around $300 in the US and £280 in the UK, it’s a fair bit more expensive than both the industry and us gamers were expecting. Because of that, Nintendo’s shares have fallen a firm 5%. It’s a real shame – because we were pretty excited for the Switch. This isn’t great. Particularly considering that shares have been falling pretty steadily since the hefty boost from Pokémon Go last summer.

The Switch has potential

The price point is where Nintendo should be winning gamers over. They lost us with the WiiU – let’s face it. No matter how much you might argue, it wasn’t a good console. It was the Wii that brought Nintendo back into the race – but since then they’ve failed to recapture our enthusiasm and imaginations. The Switch has that potential, though. It’s different. It has an edge. It even has some fairly decent third party support, with games like Skyrim and FIFA. Combining a play anywhere ethos, with decent graphics and hardware, along with some of our favourite games – that’s a winner right there. But only if it’s affordable.

The Switch is not a PS4 or an Xbox One. It can’t be. Not when it’s a console designed to be played on the go, as well as at home. It won’t be as powerful as the other current-gen consoles. It probably won’t have as many games, either. For most, the Switch would probably be an extra, rather than their sole gaming unit. At least at first; though do correct me if you disagree. But bring the pundits in with a decent price point. Charm them with great games and a seamless multiplayer experience. Let them play the games with their friends just about anywhere – at home or on the move. And hey, you might just convince them to get a game, like the next FIFA, on your console before the PS4 or the Xbox One. Before you know it, they’re used to the Switch (and its new style of ‘console play anywhere’) as their core gaming machine. Just like that, you’re back in the game.

Too much money

But not when you’re charging £280 for the unit, by itself. Add on a Pro Controller for £65. A copy of Skyrim and FIFA for £60 each. Perhaps Mario Cart 8 Dulux, to play with your friends for £50. And, finally, a case to cart it around in for £13. Once you’ve added all of that together – the console, an extra controller, three games and a case – you’re spending just over £460. I mean, that’s a lot of money for a glorified PS Vita (I kid). Though that is enough to buy a PS4 AND an Xbox One (both with games in bundles). Granted, GAME isn’t the cheapest. But Amazon and ShopTo are selling the Switch for £280 as well. Their games might be a little cheaper, and you may be able to get a bundle with the Switch. But to be able to play the console, out of the box, I doubt you’d get much change from £320.

So here we are again. Scratching our heads, asking why Nintendo keep doing this to itself. It’s almost like it’s out of touch with the modern gamer. I mean, this article has been all about the price. I’ve not even mentioned that games like Skyrim, FIFA and Mario Cart aren’t due for a release until much later in the year. Or that the console only has 32GB of storage (which wouldn’t even store a third of the latest Call of Duty title. Or that the battery will only last around 3-6 hours.

But hey, they’ll probably be releasing a Pokémon game for the console. At some point.

What do you think about the Switch, its price and the games that are due to release along with it? Let me know in the comments below!

  • with inflation its the same price the original wii launched at.

    • That’s a very fair point. But it still doesn’t change the fact that you can pick up a PS4 or an Xbox One for nearly half the price. Plus, the Wii launched two / three years before the recession – when people were more likely to fork out that sort of cash on a more ‘novelty’ device.

  • with inflation its the same price the original wii launched at.

    • That’s a very fair point. But it still doesn’t change the fact that you can pick up a PS4 or an Xbox One for nearly half the price. Plus, the Wii launched two / three years before the recession – when people were more likely to fork out that sort of cash on a more ‘novelty’ device.

  • Clay Festervand

    What i see are people with expectations that are hovering in the stratosphere. The switch is not a dedicated home console. It is a portable console, with a portable screen that can be used at home too. The article doesn’t really point out that as the reason for the price point. It is bold, no doubt. What I have heard so far, I like. Game journalists are an entitled, whiny bunch.

  • Clay Festervand

    What i see are people with expectations that are hovering in the stratosphere. The switch is not a dedicated home console. It is a portable console, with a portable screen that can be used at home too. The article doesn’t really point out that as the reason for the price point. It is bold, no doubt. What I have heard so far, I like. Game journalists are an entitled, whiny bunch.