That $300 is a far cry from an optimal Switch experience.
The dust is beginning to settle on Nintendo’s major Switch event last week, bringing to light the console’s release date, price, features, and the games that players can expect to see hit the console by the end of the year. Due to release Mar. 3, the Switch will set players in North America back a smooth $299.99 for the system and everything you’ll technically need to give you a basic experience on the Switch. However, on top of the price of games, so you can actually make use of the new system, an optimal Switch experience is actually going to cost you far more than the $300 price tag.
Unfortunately, for European fans, the additional costs start as soon as you hand over your hard-earned cash for the system. Nintendo announced during its event late last week that the system would cost 29,980 Yen, coming in at $299.99 US dollars. Unfortunately, rather than seeing a price that relates to the current exchange rate, both the British Pound and Euro prices appear to have picked up a bit of inflation. Rather than coming in at the expected £249.99, British players will be splashing out an addition £30 for a Switch coming in at £279.99. It’s a similar case for the European price, too. Rather than the converted €280-ish price tag, Nintendo has instead opted for a €329.99 price. Exactly why there seems to be a price disparity across Europe is unknown, and whether there are greater economic powers at play here is certainly a possibility, especially with Britain in its current Brexit situation. However, it’s something that’s unlikely to help the Switch’s sales in the continent, particularly when you can pick up a PS4 for £80 less.
Once you’ve got your shiny system ordered and paid for, it’s at this moment you’ll start to notice that the Switch’s $300 price point isn’t as inclusive as it had first seemed. As we previously mentioned, the Switch doesn’t come bundled in with a game this time around. There’s even a perfect bundle title in 1-2-Switch, a launch title of party games that perfectly showcases the portability of the console, as well as its HD rumble and motion control features. Instead, Nintendo has opted to sell it separately, arguing that to hit the $300 price point that they were aiming for, it was impossible for software to be bundled in. While it’s understandable that Nintendo won’t want to make a loss on every system sold, 1-2 Switch’s inclusion could have been just what the system needs to really get its USP’s (Unique Selling Points) known to the wider market.
The company had reaped the rewards of a similar business decision when releasing the Wii with Wii Sports bundled in – a title that perfectly summed up the console’s (at the time) groundbreaking features. Instead, it’s highly unlikely that 1-2 Switch will be popularly picked up, due to its party game nature and $50 price point. Without anything in the box to play, buyers will immediately have to shell out around $59.99 for at least one game to play on their Switch. Even if Nintendo had created a Breath of the Wild hardware SKU, coming in at a little more than the standard $299.99 price while still offering a discount, this would have certainly eased the burden on our wallets come launch day.
With something to play on your Switch all sorted, you’ll then likely hit one of the several cost-inflating extras on top of the Switch’s $300 price tag. Alongside the system’s reveal last week, Nintendo also released a number of different official accessories that players will be able to pick up on launch day. From a Joy-Con Charging Grip to the Pro controller that resembles a more traditional gamepad, the Switch’s lineup of accessories is certainly great for giving players the optimal experience. But, you’ve guessed it, the price of these optional, though incredibly useful, extras is pretty darn steep. Take the Pro controller, for example. Featuring the same HD Rumble as the Joy-Con, a more comfortable and traditional ergonomic shape, and quite possibly the Switch’s best control configuration, and an essential purchase based on our hands-on impressions. This comes in at a hefty $69.99, $10 more than the DualShock 4 and Xbox One controller’s MSRPs. Not to mention these can both be found for even cheaper at retailers. It’s a tough pill to swallow, especially considering the Pro controller’s HD Rumble and amiibo NFC scanner features don’t make it any more groundbreaking in controller tech than the DualShock 4’s light bar, gyro, touchpad, and rumble features.