Nintendo Switch’s price, launch date will be announced on January 12As we come ever closer to Nintendo’s planned Switch announcement event on Thursday night and Friday morning, speculation is running rampant about how much Nintendo will charge for its unique hybrid portable/TV console. So far, a number of retail leaks are lending credence to industry expectations that the system’s price will center around $250, perhaps with a deluxe version bundled with a game at $300.
To be sure, early prices posted in retailers’ internal (or public) systems are often placeholders without any real information behind them. That said, the sheer number of retail-sourced leaks pointing to a price in the $250 range to $300 range is becoming significant. Those leaks now include:
These retail leaks are broadly in line with industry expectations for the Switch pricing. GamesIndustry.biz talked to analysts after the Switch’s October unveiling, all of whom said $250 to $300 would be a “sweet spot” for the system, depending on bundled games, accessories, and hardware power levels. Dale at Let’s Play Video Games says conversations she’s had with industry watchers suggest we should expect a $250 to $300 price in the US as well. And a Nikkei “Reporter’s Eye” analysis piece out of Japan also suggested this week that Nintendo should target a price of 25,000 yen (about $214) and that investors should be wary if it comes in above that price (despite some reports, Nikkei doesn’t cite any insider sources in that report).
What we know (and what we can guess) about Nintendo Switch’s insidesWhile we’re talking about rampant price speculation, I ran my own informal Twitter poll immediately after that October Switch unveiling, setting an over/under price of $350 for the system. The results from nearly 400 respondents suggest the “wisdom of crowds” overwhelmingly thinks the system will come in well under that $350 mark. Then again, my Twitter followers seemed evenly split on the prospect of a $500 Oculus Rift a year ago, and the VR headset came in at $600 at launch. So what do my followers know, anyway?
At $250 (or a $300 system packed with a game), the Switch would be price competitive with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, both of which currently sell for $300 with a bundled game (or slightly less during occasional sales). The most reliable information we have about the Switch’s hardware internals suggests the “custom Tegra processor” driving the system could be much less powerful than what’s in the competition from Sony and Microsoft, however. Then again, the Switch has the added bonus of a built-in LCD screen and fully portable play, which complicates any direct comparison.
Nintendo: Wii U still being sold at a lossThe closest we’ve come to an official Switch pricing statement from Nintendo is CEO Tatsumi Kimishima saying back in October that the company was not planning on selling the system at a loss, which would mark a departure from the loss-leading Wii U. Kimishima added that Nintendo was also “listening to what consumers expect from us when setting price,” whatever that means.
More Info: arstechnica.com