Nintendo held an event in Tokyo and New York to announce more information, including pricing, on the Nintendo Switch. I’ve been very bullish on the idea of the Switch going for anything more than $250, putting the device at the same price point as the PS4 and Xbox One. Well, the pricing was announced yesterday. The Nintendo Switch is $299, with many of the accessories and controllers costing a premium on top of that. With what’s included in the box, you’ll likely want to buy more controllers – pushing the price well past $300, towards $400.
$299 starting price is too much! Nintendo is leaning heavily on everyone’s nostalgia of the brand of the games that are being revived. There is an evident lack of games at launch (only a handful), and many of the other titles coming out don’t have set release dates. The lack of games coupled with the high price is going to turn off the ordinary consumer who would buy the console. While tech Twitter is ablaze on how they love the device, they are talking about the price and comparing it dollar to dollar to the PS4 and Xbox One.
The specs of the Switch are important because when you look at them, you won’t be impressed:
- 6.2-inch capacitive multitouch display with 720p resolution (1280 x 720)
- 1080p resolution output via HDMI when docked
- Custom Nvidia Tegra processor
- 32GB of internal storage
- microSDXC support for up to 2TB of additional storage (up to 256GB right now, since larger cards don’t yet exist)
- Game card slot (games will come on physical cards)
- Battery life of between 2.5 and 6 hours
- USB Type-C charging port
- 802.11ac Wi-Fi
The small 32GB internal storage is alarming at first glance, but with the support of MicroSDXC you’ll never run out room. The thing to note here is a 256GB MicroSDXC is expensive, but you can buy a 64GB card for only $16. Buying these cards over and over as you collect games will add up quickly, and you’ll likely lose one or two over time. Having a USB-C port is a nice addition, making it easy to charge the device when I’m out and about.
The other accessories you’ll need to buy is new controllers, especially as the Switch doesn’t ship with a traditional controller you’d find with the Xbox or PlayStation. The controllers are between $70 and $80, far above the controllers for the Playstation or Xbox.
Amongst all my rage for the high price, poor value, lack of launch titles, and overall poor mobile screen resolution – I preordered the device. For better or worse, I want to try out the games see where Nintendo is going with the device. I want to indulge in the nostalgia of getting to play some of Nintendo’s classic games reimagined and remastered for the more modern hardware. Many of my friends and colleges have pre-ordered because they are fanboys of old school Nintendo games.
The problem with Nintendo leaning heavily on fanboys, the Nintendo Switch, may fall flat at launch. I don’t think the device will fail like the Wii U did, but I believe it’ll succeed like the Nintendo DS did. Only time will tell with what Nintendo does and how they fare once the holidays hit.
Tell us in the comments below what you think about the Nintendo Switch, and whether you managed to get a pre-order in. I’ve included the pre-order links below, but they’re all sold out at Walmart, Amazon, and Bestbuy.
720p screen resolution? You can buy budget phones now with 1080p screens. 1080p HDMI output? When most TV’s sold today are 4K. The specs can’t seem dated before it’s even released…
Pricing is key. The accessories pricing would be understandable if the console price was low enough. Nintendo really needs to be more competitive with Playstation and Xbox if they don’t just want to appeal to their existing fans. Controllers are generally not cheap. You need them to be comfortable, responsive and durable. Hopefully Nintendo’s quality can justify the price.
The games are really going to make the difference I think. It’s typical Nintendo to have low amounts of stock vs. demand to boost the hype (you can’t blame them as it always works). The lack of launch titles is disappointing but at least they’re not region-locked!
I haven’t preordered it but it’s £279.99 in the UK ($341.12 converted) which seems a little steep as you can get a PS4 Slim or Xbox One S bundled with a game for £239.99. 32GB vs. 500GB too which is a little embarrassing.
I really want the Nintendo Switch to be a success as it changes what a console can be. A home console you can take everywhere – now that’s awesome! The amount of different ways you can play (you can even put a Joy-con controller in a steering wheel – although it looks a little weird).
You can give Nintendo credit that they always want to be different! Maybe the Switch will literally switch people from other consoles…
Completely agree, it’s a great idea for a portable console but they should’ve priced it more aggressively considering the specs. But it is a new Nintendo console and people will likely buy it for the games. Man do I wish it was 1080p and had much better battery life though.
Will you notice the different between 720p and 1080p? I don’t think I own any screens, that I use often at least, that are below 1080p. What type of screen is the Switch an AMOLED?
I 100% agree Nintendo could have made a case for the high price if they had a solid device with a number of launch titles, but only offer 5 is a huge problem. I think having a home console also being mobile is going to cause a lot of problems – what happens when you break the mobile screen or lose it? Do you have to spend another $299 for the whole device again or will you be able to just buy the tablet?
The 720p screen could be a battery saving plan, but I can buy a 4K TCL 48-inch screen for just over $300. I think $200 would have been a better price point, and one that would have killed the Xbox and PS.