How Much Should Nintendo Switch Cost?--GameSpot Q&A

Below you can find our thoughts on how much Nintendo Switch should cost.

166 Comments

Welcome to GameSpot Q&A, a section where we ask our staff and readers an interesting discussion question about video games. Look at this as a forum where you and others can discuss and compare your opinions of this beloved hobby of ours. Let us know what your answer is to this week's question in the comments below!

This week's question is:

How much should Nintendo Switch cost?

Nintendo's Switch is looking to be one of its most exciting consoles yet. But with the console/handheld hybrid finally announced, the current big question is its price point. Our editors voice their thoughts towards the issue in the answers below.

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Justin Haywald, Managing Editor

Right now you can buy an Xbox One or a PS4 for $300. Both companies are introducing pricier options in the near future, but especially as we head into the holidays, $300 hits that console sweet spot--it's not so expensive that it seems outrageous, but it's not so cheap that it seems like a toy.

Of course, we don't actually know much about the system yet. From specs to pack-ins, there are a lot of variables that will have a direct effect on the price of the system. Larger storage space is likely going to come at a premium (though hopefully Nintendo forgoes the multiple SKUs of the Wii U). Will I have access to my catalog of Wii U and Virtual Console (and 3DS!?) games? And what kind of entertainment options will the Switch have? If it can replace my PS4 or XB1 as a media hub, those kinds of options could make it more comparable to the upcoming PS4 Pro or Xbox Scorpio, and people might be more willing to accept a premium $500 price. But, keeping it real, this is how I'm going to play the next Legend of Zelda. I'm preordering as soon as it's available and Nintendo basically has complete access to my bank entire (very tiny) account. I only hope that they'll be gentle and they don't get too greedy.

Chris Pereira, News Reporter

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While $300 (or less) would obviously be ideal to avoid having the Switch cost more than an Xbox One or PS4, $350 strikes me as a fair price for a system that can seemingly fill the role of home console and handheld. Going much beyond that crosses too far into the price range of mobile phones and iPads, which I think would make for a difficult sales proposition.

Nintendo no doubt wants to recapture the casual audience it lost post-Wii, or as much of it as is still possible in this day and age. It can't possibly compete with the price of games on mobile--which have proven to be sufficiently entertaining for huge swaths of the gaming market. Ensuring the base price of the system is as low as possible will give it a solid start in trying to lure back part of the audience that helped to make Wii and DS the successes they were.

Miguel Concepcion, Contributing Writer

My gut says the Nintendo Switch will be priced at $299, assuming it also includes a mini-game compilation with the same value of Wii Sports or Nintendo Land. If it isn't $299, it will be lower, not higher. I think it should be $249 as symbolic middle ground between the current prices of its current handheld (New 3DS, $199) and home console (Wii U, $299).

As an aside, I'm curious how the successor of the 3DS (assuming there is one) will be positioned alongside the Switch. $249 might be a marketable price point if some parents think that they wouldn't have to buy a separate Nintendo handheld if their children's portable gaming needs are met with the Switch.

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Tamoor Hussain, Editor

Nintendo has traditionally used older components to drive down the cost of its consoles and handhelds. This, in turn, makes it easier for them to make money of sales.

This time however, it's opted for a custom Tegra processor created by Nvidia and what is described as a "GPU based on the same architecture as the world's top performing GeForce gaming graphics card." While specifics are to be revealed, the combination of those two bespoke pieces of tech could make the Switch more expensive than we're used to seeing Nintendo consoles be.

But, yet again, Nintendo is taking an unexpected approach to gaming consoles. For that to really pay off, they need to make Switch affordable enough that people will buy into the idea of a console/handheld hybrid. After the Wii U, adoption rates need to be high; otherwise it'll be another generation of Nintendo platforms that third-party developers shun. It's going to be tricky to find the price that's cheap enough to draw in consumers, but not so cheap that they're losing money on sales off it. I think the console should come in at around the $300 mark, but in reality it may be a little more expensive.

Eddie Makuch, News Editor

Price is a very important consideration for any console, or piece of technology for that matter. With the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One starting at $300 right now, I would imagine the Nintendo Switch would come in around there. $250 seems too low and $350 is too high, so I'm going with $300.

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A report claimed the console will use "industry-leading chips," (which presumably wouldn't come cheap) though Nintendo has yet to offer any specifics about the console's guts, other than that it will use Nvidia components. The console/mobile hybrid nature of the console is a new idea in gaming, so there may be extra costs on Nintendo's side that will keep the price from being too low.

The Nintendo Switch is coming out six months from now, in March 2017, and there are still many questions to be answered. One thing has always been certain about the Mario company, however: don't bet against Nintendo.

Scott Butterworth, Editor

I'm just going to attack this logically: currently, a new 3DS costs $200 while a new Wii U will set you back $300. To be a slightly reductive, Switch seems to be a hybrid of the two, so it logically follows that its price will fall somewhere in between as well. Mathematically, that middle point would be $250, but as with all new hardware, we can expect the price to rise slightly to match demand (and cover early production costs). So in my mind, $275 would be a fair price for Switch unless we learn the specs are far stronger than we're expecting--in which case, I'd bump that up to the Wii U's $300.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for rensbe
RensBe

really? your combining prices becaus the consoles are combined. if they are combined, shouldn't the price be around €500? or at least €400? telling us it should cost $250? no that's way to cheap!

Avatar image for externalpower43
Externalpower43

If its going to cost more than the Xbone or PS4 it needs to be more powerful.

Avatar image for raugutcon
raugutcon

$300 or it will be more dead on arrival than the WiiEEWW.

Avatar image for turtlesintime
turtlesInTime

$350. Almost every Nintendo console has sold at a higher price than the previous.

wiiU $300

wii $250

GC $200

Avatar image for clockworkengine
clockworkengine

Been a user of this site for 15 years or more, and I've rarely said this:

This article is utterly meaningless. Why does it exist? The very subject of the article is speculative, but no information required for such speculation exists yet. How can you arrive at a price point when there are no specs? So they said the architecture is on par with GeForce, but I know marketing, and there are many, many GeForce chips which indicates a broad range of possibilities, from highly powerful and expensive to corner-cutting budget chips which cost very little.

And regarding the last author's price point logic near the end-- well I don't want to sound mean but when I read it I wondered just what he did to make a good impression at his job interview.

It looks to me like GameSpot has gotten to the point where they take what should have been a single news story and just publish article after useless, uninformed speculative article until they can't squeeze any more out of it. I don't know about you guys, but when an author or group of authors assumes I'm such a fool as to associate the sheer number of articles with my becoming more informed on the subject, it makes me want to just get my news elsewhere, from a reliable, succinct source.

Sorry for the long post.

Avatar image for Geon106
Geon106

Here in the UK I would say between £250 and £300.

Similar price point as the Wii U if I recall correctly.

Despite being mid-cycle, it will be up against the Xbox One S and PS4 Pro. Plus the current economy with a weak pound against the dollar will not help.

However, if this time they get marketing down and a good line up of launch games then I think it could easily outsell the Wii U.

Avatar image for aeroquest1
AeroQuest1

I'm going to have to agree with most of the comments: $300. Any more than that and only the die hard Nintendo fans are going to buy it. I'm not a huge Nintendo fan, but I did get the Wii U (well after launch and it was a well priced bundle at Costco). I won't get this until it's been out for a year or two, and only if I feel it's being well supported.

I have one more question before I plop down my money: being a hybrid, will it support multiple profiles like the Wii U, or only one like the 3DS? No way I'm going to buy it if it's the latter.

Avatar image for atherworld
atherworld

Based on recent history, Nintendo will overcharge and cut back. Like with 3DS and WiiU. They'll let greed overwrite thinking. After all, if our competitors can charge a lot, so we can we. It's the magic price point people will buy anything and everything at. Except that never works out for Nintendo. Just because others can get away with higher prices, doesn't mean Nintendo can.

Avatar image for guitarist1980
guitarist1980

Obviously there not marketing this at a 35 year old male. I just have no use for the portability aspect of it and not really a huge Nintendo fan. To be fair I haven't played a first party title since the game cube.

300 bucks. If they go higher they are crazy and it will bust. I think its going to be a bust anyway.

Avatar image for e3man01
e3man01

I can't see $250, so it's only $50 more than a 3DS XL? I'm thinking $300/350. I believe it'll use SD memory cards, that keeps costs down a bit. But how can a tablet NOT have a touch screen in 2016? That would be utterly stupid to omit. The screen, when detached, should be 720p, if it's not, well 1080p on the TV is a pipedream.

Avatar image for ferretshob
ferretshob

The Switch is a joke/fake is it not? What the hell are Nintendo thinking? How can this be known as a console where it is nothing more then a tablet with an advanced docking station. As good as the concept of the unit is, it is a joke thinking that this has any chance of being in anyway shape or form in complete competition with the Xone and PS4.

It is a shame. I was hoping for big things and was sadly disappointed in a big way.

Avatar image for atherworld
atherworld

@ferretshob: The Gamecube was a console with a handle so you can carry it. Nintendo has done portable consoles before.

Avatar image for ferretshob
ferretshob

@atherworld:

The Gamecube was a console. This is nothing more then a glorified Tablet with a docking station.

Avatar image for raugutcon
raugutcon

@atherworld: forget the handle, the handle added nothing; the GC had a screen ( like the PS1 ), you didn´t even need a TV.

Avatar image for BioStormX
BioStormX

"I think it should be $249 as symbolic middle ground between the current prices of its current handheld (New 3DS, $199) and home console (Wii U, $299)."

Uhhh...... what? So the replacement for the Wii U should be cheaper than the Wii U because it also had the added functionality of being able to go portable with it? wtf kind of logic...

Avatar image for zeldafan195
zeldafan195

Okay, it makes no sense to say it should be priced lower than consoles because it's a hybrid. The 3DS is cheap because it's using hardware that consoles used 15 years ago. This is a portable system using hardware on a level of what home consoles use today. So we shouldn't expect it to be priced cheaper or the same as current generation consoles. I'd be surprised if it were $350.

Avatar image for nintendians
nintendians

i say around $299.99 for a standard one, but for a bundle, $399.99 with a classic pro controller and a game (it'll be nice if it let you choose what game you want) at launch date.

Avatar image for meluvulongtime8
meluvulongtime8

I'm thinking it'll come in at roughly $300-350. Honestly, I really like the concept. The Wii U tablet always felt way too tethered to me. If I wanted to go to a different room in my house I couldn't because the wireless range was so restrictive. With the Switch that wouldn't be an issue. I can see this being something that kids can really get into because you can go from taking it from a tv to in the car easily. The possibility is there to play with multiple ppl on the go as well, but this option doesn't seem that great from the screen sizing.

I think several challenges are faced with the Switch though. Price point obviously, but things such as battery life, number of game titles, and games that allow progress saves at any point. Progress saves is major in my mind, because if you can't stop and save at any point the portability factor is pretty much useless. I also wonder about wireless capabilities. Will you be able to establish a data plan or will it be strictly a wifi based device? It wouldn't surprise me if Ninty went strictly to this hybrid model instead of separate portables and consoles. If they can get enough 3rd party support and produce quality titles I think it has the potential for success.

Avatar image for zeldafan195
zeldafan195

@meluvulongtime8: The price might not be too bad, since it does offer local multiplayer on the go. You would only need 1 system for 2 kids in the car, vs needing 2 3DS's. So $350-400 seems reasonable to me.

Avatar image for rogue81
rogue81

Nintendo is offering a gimmick that (as far as I know) no one is asking for. How many people will actually take advantage of its portability? I hope Nintendo learned its lesson about battery life from the WiiU controller. It had better come close to that of the iPad or Surface.

Avatar image for squal_lionhart
Squal_Lionhart

@rogue81: They're offering a gimmick that can be completely ignored if you don't want to use it

Avatar image for Berserk8989
Berserk8989

@rogue81: Umm, why wouldn't people take advantage of that? Most would, apart from some cellar dwellers maybe. You can play quality games at home on your big TV or anywhere on the Handheld and it's not some streaming bull$hit. I've asked for this and I find this impressive, especially if it'll be in the said 300-350€ range.

Avatar image for rogue81
rogue81

@Berserk8989: I work a minimum of 12 hours a day, and I would certainly like to play games more often. However, I also have a 3DS loaded with games that hasn't left its case in 6 months. It's not practical to keep it with me. When I'm at home, why wouldn't I want to play on the big screen?

When the novelty of being able to carry a full console wears off, and the reality of having to carry a bulky (it isn't pocket sized) console sets in, I'm betting most people will choose to leave it at home.

Avatar image for Berserk8989
Berserk8989

@rogue81: That's your case. In my case, i'm only at home at weekends, during the week i'm working abroad and i would benefit greatly from this, playing on TV when i'm home and taking the portable device with me when i'm going away. Also, i can imagine that the female audience will love this console.. Okay, not really love, since we know how woman and gaming are, but they will surely be more drawn to it than to a PS4 or Xbox One in my opinion, especially when Nintendo will do marketing right. And they apparently started off well, since my girlfriend at least loved the first Switch trailer.

Avatar image for dashboardman
dashboardman

Anything more than 300€ would be a difficult price to justify...let us not forget that the new zelda game will cost at least 60€...and that changes the price to 360€....which is expensive!!! Tech-wise nintendo decided not to compete against Sony / Microsoft but price-wise they have no choice but to do so...if they want to gain back the people that they lost with the wii U failure. No matter what I am pre-ordering switch so as to play a real zelda adventure and not the spin-off tales of the past.

Avatar image for monson21502
monson21502

Anything over 199 for a Nintendo console is a rip off

Avatar image for daBrokenFace
daBrokenFace

Nintendo will launch it at $375 to take advantage/profit from hardcore fans, then drop it to $300 for the holidays.

Avatar image for TheEternalGamer
TheEternalGamer

I'm not understanding all the logic comparing this to a PS4 or an Xbox One. Can you take those with you on the train/car/bus? We're talking about a premium PORTABLE system that just so happens to connect to your TV and plays comparable games to a PS4 or Xbox One. If you are fine never leaving your house to play your games, stick with your Sony and Microsoft products. If you want the next generation of portables, get one of these.

Also, saying the price should be in between their console and portable offerings makes no sense whatsoever. It always costs more to get the same performance in a smaller piece of electronics that you would get in a larger, bulkier box. Have any of you ever bought a piece of tech before?

Avatar image for rogue81
rogue81

@TheEternalGamer: How many people just want to play the next Zelda? How many are clamoring for a large, premium portable gaming device? I'm guessing the shared interest in that Venn diagram is pretty small. Nintendo can't expect people to pay top dollar for a feature they never wanted.

Avatar image for hoyholyhoy
hoyholyhoy

@TheEternalGamer: Thank you for having a brain.

Avatar image for nparks
nparks

It's basically an Nvidia Shield tablet, which runs $200. Add the gimmicky joy-con pads and docking station, and I'm guessing $250 out of the box, good controllers sold separately.

Avatar image for supamastergamer
SupaMasterGamer

@nparks: thats right! Its a nintendo shield! It should not cost more than 250$

Avatar image for TheEternalGamer
TheEternalGamer

@nparks: They said it uses a custom tegra chip, not the one in the shield. It's more powerful, if I had to guess.

Avatar image for galaxy749
Galaxy749

In a perfect world they would charge 250. I hope it's not over 300.

Come on 250!

Avatar image for SingletreeAve
SingletreeAve

Serious gamers should not be afraid to pony up and purchase a decent gaming platform. This certainly isn't it so the price is irrelevant.

Avatar image for hitechgraphs
hitechgraphs

@SingletreeAve:Since when a Nintendo platform was decent? Long time ago. 300 fair. More and then they can screw themselves.

Avatar image for XxParasite
XxParasite

@SingletreeAve: Right? That's why my new video card was $800. Unfortunately, that has left me without the money to buy Civ.

Avatar image for Sphensen
Sphensen

if it's right behind the PS4 in performance I could see it costing $400 and I'm cool with that

Avatar image for yavix
yavix

I'd be willing to pay $399.99 for it, but that's only if I feel that it's worth it at the time. I'm not betting on potential like I did with the Wii U, because that was definitely a bet that I lost. Nintendo has to prove its worth the value, and that the games will actually be there. They need some serious third party support to win me over this time, and Skyrim and NBA 2k17 don't cut it. At this point we'll have to wait and see.

Avatar image for nparks
nparks

One dollar, Drew!

Avatar image for kenbub
Kenbub

Give me a regular system and Xbox style controller for $199

Avatar image for StrahdZ21
StrahdZ21

$199.99

Avatar image for EducatingU_PCMR
EducatingU_PCMR

$50 would be pushing it.

Avatar image for Sandpark
Sandpark

It will probably be 300-400. And I think it should be 250 because it doesn't match the power or features of xbox one and ps4. It may still do reasonably well. But if they want wii sale numbers then it's 250 in my book.

Avatar image for therightclique
therightclique

@Sandpark: How do you know it doesn't match the power or features of Xbox One? We have no idea what's in this thing right now.

Avatar image for joevg92
joevg92

I think you guys are off by $100, it's going to probably be $399 maybe $349 but I have my doubts.