And Many Gamers Note the Problem as Well, Unsurprisingly
Prior to the Nintendo Switch Presentation, Nikkei, one of Japan’s foremost business papers, published a piece suggesting Nintendo Switch would launch at less than $250. As of yesterday, we’ve learned that the console will be available March 3rd at $299. There are multiple reasons why people are surprised by this retail price.
What we know so far: Switch is a portable console, with what technically qualifies as two controllers in the Joy-con remote(with neon color variations), and free subscriptions for the first months of online play. To some(perhaps many), the price for everything listed has proven a bit high. Among them, analyst Michael Pachter who stated, “it would be amazing at $200 and competitive at $250, but $300 seems a bit steep, especially considering that the other consoles are at that price.”
While Pachter’s analyses have come under scrutiny in the past, there was precedence for his observation this time around. Although the Nintendo Switch is a new, ‘innovative’ console with multisensor control and portability, it is measured in the shadow of its competitors. “I think it will sell well to Nintendo fans, but it will be a second console for a lot of people,” Pachter told GamingBolt.
Also worth noting, Nintendo stock has dropped 6% since its Nintendo Switch Presentation. Analyst Dr. Serkhan Toto attributed this drop to its lack of appeal beyond Nintendo fans. He said as much to Gamesindustry.biz: “Sorry, but is a portable/home console approach really that innovative in 2016? I am most concerned about the target group of the device: who else but die-hard Nintendo fans will buy the Switch?”
As of January 20th, Amazon buyers would be able to purchase the more powerful PlayStation 4 console bundled with the critically acclaimed Uncharted 4 title at $269.00. That’s a 30$ difference beside a game that retailed at $59.99. Similarly, the Xbox One S is currently bundled with Battlefield 1 on Amazon for $265, which is even more savings along with a more recent game. All of the listed reasons, accompanied by the fact that Nintendo Switch does not support most titles currently available–nor some that will be available in the future— explain the surprise from Nintendo Switch’s price.
At the very least, analyst Pachter did declare his admiration for Switch’s game line up. However, games like Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda, Splatoon, and Metroid(if we ever get another Metroid) will appeal–as they always have– to Nintendo fans. Whether or not their games could serve as console sellers to the next consumer, only time will tell. The point is, Nintendo is taking a risk.
That’s not to say there aren’t a lot of Nintendo fans or fans of certain Nintendo games. But after recounting everything we know thus far, Nintendo could suffer from what former president Satoru Iwata feared: that their system would not build “momentum.” And for many gamers, that’s fine. Surely there are plenty of people willing to dish out $299 for this next system. But it’s hard to imagine Nintendo building that needed momentum three years late to the party, at that price.
Wishing the best to everyone with high hopes for Nintendo. For more of the latest on gaming, keep updated with COGconnected. Happy gaming to you all.