The first rumors of the price for the upcoming Nintendo Switch have begun swirling today, with TechnoBuffalo reporting a unverified starting price of $250, along with a higher storage option for $300. And while we’ll have to wait until January 12th, 2017 for Nintendo to actually announce the final price of the Switch, it got us thinking: how much should the Nintendo Switch actually cost?
Obviously, it’s important to consider the price of the Switch’s competitors for home consoles, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. And while the portable Switch is in many ways a very different product than Microsoft and Sony’s more traditional consoles, it’s still at least in part a "home" gaming machine, which makes this as good a place as any to start.
Currently (Black Friday sales notwithstanding) both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 start at $299.99. For the Switch to stay competitive with Sony and Microsoft, Nintendo will probably aim to target the same rough price range, especially given the company’s past strategy of trying to undercut competitors in price (as seen with the original Wii, for $249 at launch, far undercutting the $299 Xbox 360 and $499 PlayStation 3). So if Nintendo can manage a $249 price point, it’d give the Switch a significant advantage. And that price may actually be possible, given that the Switch is largely based on the hardware internals of the $199 Nvidia Shield tablet.
The other thing to consider is that Nintendo is once again betting on a unique form factor and control scheme to sell the Switch, instead of trying to take on an Xbox or PlayStation head-to-head — something that the increased power, 4K gaming, and VR optimization of the recently released PlayStation 4 Pro and upcoming Project Scorpio would have made even more difficult. So while the Switch itself is certainly packing less firepower than the refreshes of Sony and Microsoft’s consoles, the beefier successors of the current generation systems also come with higher prices, which could give Nintendo a little more breathing room to price out a $299 Switch while still beating Microsoft and Sony’s prices.
Again, until more news is revealed from Nintendo, it’s hard to say how much the Switch will really cost. Until then, how much are you willing to pay for Nintendo’s latest console?