The latest reports suggest Nintendo Switch will be released in March 2017, with a healthy starting price of just £199 – cheaper than its predecessor.
Last month we finally got a look at Nintendo’s mysterious new console hardware, the Nintendo Switch. Although the short teaser trailer put to bed plenty of NX gossip and speculation and answered many of our biggest questions, it also posed brand new ones. Is it touch screen? What about battery life? How big of a hole will it burn in our pocket?
Although Nintendo are yet to comment on the price, rumours are pointing to an RRP of just £199 for the new device. That’s the price Toys R Us Canada is listing the Switch, which coincides with previous rumours and makes a great deal of sense for Nintendo.
When the Wii was released at just $250/£200, it immediately undercut competition significantly. The price proved to be acceptable for casual gamers and families as an entertainment centre, and was also low enough that hard-core gamers could pick it up as a second console without completely breaking the bank.
The WiiU came in higher, with its premium console priced only marginally less than the competition despite having very few games on offer at release. Without third party support, this meant that anyone hoping to play major AAA titles would have to fork out upwards of $700/£600 to have both the WiiU and a console capable of playing popular non-Nintendo releases.
Speaking at Nintendo’s semi-Annual Financial Results Briefing, the company’s President Tatsumi Kimishima stated that there were no plans to sell the Switch at a loss, which would suggest a high price point. The difference this time is that, given the console’s mid-cycle launch, competition is very different. Most serious gamers already have a next generation console in their living rooms, but Sony and Microsoft are still introducing new hardware with their 4K upgrades and VR peripherals, which are coming in at about £349/$399. Nintendo would benefit from pricing their new console competitively, and convince their target market that the Switch is more essential than 4K.
We’ll have to wait for Nintendo’s word on this, presumably on January 12th 2017 when the company have confirmed they will be releasing more information.