The Nintendo Switch era is almost upon us. In just a week, the Switch will be released to the masses, or at least those of us lucky enough to have a preorder, and thanks to Nintendo’s January presentation, we finally know what we’ll be getting for our $300. Mostly. So while we wait for the new console’s release, let’s take a look at what we know and what we don’t. We’ll start with the questions we had going into the presentation. We were wondering about…
This one’s easy. It’s $299.99, at least in the U.S. This is a touch higher than I expected, and might be dangerously high from a consumer standpoint. Nintendo is selling their decidedly less powerful system for the same price as an Xbox One or PS4, and unlike those consoles, the Switch doesn’t come with a bundled game. Or a library of cheap used games to pad out the collection. This price point will really test the Switch’s core concept – its console-handheld hybridization – because that’s pretty much the only thing it has going for it when compared to its competitors.
Going into the big Switch reveal in January, I was expecting it to be around $250, but the price was always a double-edged sword: too high and no one will buy it, too low and it might not be very powerful. So when Nintendo announced a $300 price tag, I was briefly optimistic that the system might be more powerful than I anticipated. It would seem, though, that the “extra” $50 is going towards tech in the controllers rather than the GPU, so this optimism was short-lived.