If the price is right

There’s something on the horizon that’s sure to cause a New Year’s revolution in gaming in 2017 if Nintendo can hit the sweet spot with the pricing of its new console.

  • Nintendo’s launch prices tend to drop after an unsuccessful console release
  • Nintendo has previously maintained a £159 release price for multiple consoles despite advances in the systems capabilities
  • The Switch will be the first hybrid home and handheld console of its kind
  • Factoring in previous launch prices and the Switch’s USP we estimated a £250 launch price
  • The console is now available for preorder at £279.99 following the Switch event on 13th January 2017
Nintendo Launch Price Timeline

A history of Nintendo launch prices from NES to Switch.

The masters of re-invention

Since the 2012 release of the Wii U, Nintendo has largely left the gaming limelight to Microsoft & Sony with the XBOX ONE and PlayStation 4 enjoying a huge market share of console sales in the last three years.

Nintendo Switch Promo Image

Screen capture from the Nintendo Switch trailer.

Famously innovative, over the years Nintendo has singlehandedly reinvented gaming time and again. From the fan-favourite Game Boy which brought hand-held gaming to the masses, to ground-breaking home consoles like the Wii, which practically reimagined gaming methods.

In 2017, it could be justified of Nintendo to feel as though it has something that will shake the gaming world once again with the launch of its home and hand-held system, Nintendo Switch.

Hybrid gaming

When played at home, the main body of the Switch sits in a cradle, linked up to your TV set via a HDMI cable, like most modern home consoles. Time to go to work but you still want to beat that big bad Bowser on the way? Just clip on the left and right Joy-Cons onto the system and lift it out of its cradle, switching the console to a powerful hand-held system. It’s all in the name!

Revolution or evolution?

Now that 2017 is just around the corner and the gaming industry has been going from strength to strength for more than thirty years at this point, you’d be forgiven for asking the question – is this truly the first hybrid home and on-the-go games console? In a word, yes.

Nintendo has dabbled in this field before, making Pokémon games playable on home TV screens via a Gameboy cartridge reader for the Nintendo 64, released as an add-on with the Pokémon Stadium game, this format was however very limited and at best, a novelty.

More recently, Sony has attempted to give the relatively short-lived PlayStation Vita a new lease of life by making PlayStation 4 gaming available on the portable system via streaming. This however had a lot of limitations. It required both consoles to be switched on, a stable Wi-Fi connection to avoid serious lag and given the differing layout of the controls, gameplay was often clunky and ultimately unenjoyable.

All in all, it makes for a practically non-existent history in crossover gaming, meaning, if Nintendo finds the sweet spot in terms of pricing when the Switch is released, it could strike a chord with a whole range of demographics for years to come. From the casual commuters – content with 20 minutes of play time on the underground each morning – to the Mario-mad home gamers who play for hours on end.

The burning question

The Switch will have a unique selling point as the first a 2-in-1 console, so what exactly can we expect to pay for a brand-new system come March 2017?

As displayed in our handy Mario gif, we did our homework on the launch prices of previous Nintendo consoles to get a better idea of where the Nintendo Switch will sit in the range.

Update: 13th January 2017 Nintendo presentation

If like us, you were eagerly anticipating the announcement made by Nintendo in the early hours of the morning you may be feeling a little disappointed with the price announcement. Since the conference, most UK retailers have made the Switch available for preorder at £279.99. Whilst this seems reasonable considering that both the PS4 and Xbox One released with a much higher price point, there had been pre-launch rumours of a sub £200 price tag. People were so certain about this that several retailers were already taking preorders at an initial £198.00.

It isn’t all doom and gloom

During the January presentation, Nintendo only announced official RRPs for the Japan and US markets whilst referring Switchers in Europe to their local retailers for prices. In theory if Nintendo struggle to hit preorder targets, this price drop to the £250.00 area which Voucherbox.co.uk predicted earlier in the month or perhaps even lower before the official launch date on 3rd March 2017.

Besides the price, Nintendo fans will no doubt be delighted with the majority of features on display such as the inclusion of HD Rumble technology in the Switch’s Joy-Cons as well as the announcement that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be a launch title.

Can’t wait for your Nintendo fix? You can preorder the Switch right now at Zavvi.