Totaling the hidden costs of owning a Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is launching March 3 for $299.99, and Nintendo says it had to make some tough decisions in order to reach that price. Everything you need to get started is included in the box, such as a pair of Joy-Con controllers and a docking station.

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FallenAngel19841645d ago

Why would non-Nintendo fans buy such a device and the accessories required at such a high cost?

The appeal of Nintendo handhelds are that they tend to be very cost effective. 3DS tried to buck this trend when it launched at at a price of $250 and suffered dearly for it until the price was slashed by $70.

As for console gamers you'd have a pretty tough sell trying to convince people to spend more than they would on PlayStation and Xbox platforms that offer more games, services, features, & longevity.

Only diehard Nintendo fans will put up with these prices.

wonderfulmonkeyman1645d ago (Edited 1645d ago )

"and the accessories required"
Here's the thing; outside of memory expansions, which are a common buy on all consoles at this point, >none< of the Switch's accessories outside of the bundle are required.
None-Nintendo gamers are twisting the truth to make it seem like it's more expensive that it actually is, while not taking into account that the flawed logic they are using against the Switch to add to its price tag can also be used against the other two.

Elite controllers, VR goggles and the TV's and motion gadgets needed for getting the most optimal / maximum use out of them them, and plenty of other "necessary accessories" can be used as an excuse to artificially inflate the prices of the other two consoles, too, before arriving at everything needed for "the optimal experience."

But no one should use that argument against the consoles, because it's a bad argument no matter how one spins it.

mikeslemonade1644d ago

I'm a non-Nintendo fan. Actually a Nintendo hater and am buying it. The cost is pennies to me.

jmc88881644d ago (Edited 1644d ago )

A pro controller is pretty necessary. That or the 'optional' charge grip is the only way to play Switch without draining the battery.

Additionally the pro controller is thicker, better d-pad, and the yxba buttons are in a placement that isn't going to suck. Your thumbs slide, so the ideal placement is up and to the right within range. On the joy cons it's got quite a large space and is directly above it. That's just ergonomic hell. Most people consider a traditional pro controller ergonomics to be a necessity, and it's traditional for it to be packed in the box. (also people want analog triggers, and right now that is unknown about the Pro controller as people have pointed out there are pictures of what appears to be two different models. WTH is that Nintendo?)

The core point of comparisons has to do with traditional pack ins. Things that are supposed to be in the box. A pro controller, hard drive, and ethernet port are very much that. Comparing it to VR, TV's, and ELITE controllers is the epitome of spin.

When you realistically add less memory then comes in a PS4/XB1 and add a Pro Controller, the price for Switch is above that of a PS4 Pro. (hell in some locales it's really near a PS4 Pro even without any additional purchases). It even starts nearing the rumored price of Scorpio. Especially if you need to buy an ethernet adapter.

It's not spin, it's reality. Switch, from a console perspective is a horrible value. The competitors have a pro controller, hard drive, ethernet port and a pack in game for LESS money. Heck if you want to use something as basic as online chatting you need to have a smartphone, and from all intent and purposes pay for that app (aside from online which equals out because everyone does it).

That's the key. It would be wrong to add or not add on PS+/XBLive/Nintendo Online for some but not all consoles. It's about the differences. Just like when Wii U didn't have paid online, it was a PLUS in it's favor because they others necessitated it.

PS4 wasn't launched as a VR machine. You don't need VR to fully utilize it as a traditional console. It's an accessory that adds addition functionality outside of the traditional console. It also has never been packed in a entry level console box and didn't even come out until almost three years after the console did.

So no, people can pretend people are being 'unfair' to Nintendo for stating the obvious and comparing what it costs Switch owners all else being equal to use it as a traditional console as compared to its competitors.

It's not 'non-Nintendo gamers' either. ANYONE who is OBJECTIVE can say that. I happen to own a Wii U and have been playing Nintendo games since before the NES aka Nintendo games in the arcades.

jmc88881644d ago (Edited 1644d ago )

There's a standard. To make everything as equal as can be and compare costs. To do that, you MUST add a pro controller and fairly comparable storage to Switch. When you do that, Switch is a low end console at a highly premium price.

That's not spin, it's reality, and it's what Nintendo decided upon. Not us.

The spin in your comment is to pretend that a packed in pro controller and a fairly normal storage amount equates to unfairly adding in the cost of TV's, elite controllers, VR, etc. A console is expected to have a traditional control scheme (pro controller), and comparable storage aka a hard drive, ethernet port.

Even below you talk about 2 TB hard drives. Well yes those are great for consoles, but the reality is 500 GB's is plenty enough for a few digital AAA 3rd party games, whereas 32GB's isn't even enough to hold ONE. At most you might be able to download two first party Nintendo games like Zelda (maybe not even that as ~26.8 gb's which is 2x Switch Zelda might be more then Switch has after accounting for reserved space). You aren't necessitated to buy one for a PS4/XB1 because you can put a decent amount of games on it. Even then the price of hard drives pales in comparison to a decent size microSD card. You can find 3 TB's hard drives for under $100 at times. Meanwhile all we have heard is that MAYBE you might be able to add a HD, but as of now the idea is that they didn't want a mechanical hard drive to keep people from using it as a portable. So you are locked in to these more expensive cards which are a necessity unless you are all physical carts (and even then what about patches and the like?).

As for ethernet adapters (which is standard in PS4/XB1, and pretty much every console for two decades preceding them). I remember having to buy one for my Wii U... guess what, because it wasn't a 'Nintendo' one (as if I should've known I needed a Nintendo one), it disconnected all the time, but only when gaming. It was fine with updating the console, downloading games, etc. But Nintendo put some proprietary crap in it to make games wonky when played through it. It wasn't until I bought a Wi-Fi router before my Wii U could really work online. All because Nintendo couldn't pack in a ethernet port. Nickel and dime.

The problem with your argument is you are picking and choosing what you think accessories are necessary or not when everyone else is simply comparing it to what traditionally is in a console box. A hard drive, a pro controller, ethernet. These are standard with everyone but Nintendo. Then while pack-in games aren't always there, in this case they are for the competition and not for Switch.

All the talk about VR, TV's, elite controllers... is ACTUAL spin. You simply cannot compare that stuff with the other. You don't need elite controllers. You don't need VR to play Call of Duty. But you need an ergonomic controller, for some you need an ethernet port, you need a functional amount of storage which 32gb's is not but 500 is.

It's not people being unfair to Nintendo, it's people fairly holding Nintendo to an objective standard equal across platforms. When you do that, the price of the Nintendo Switch isn't just a bit behind it's competitors, it's far behind.

gamer78041644d ago

@mikeslemonade so without any accessories, yah it will cost you 30,000 pennies. Counting in dollars just a little quicker, but whatever floats your boat!

1643d ago
Mehmeh1643d ago

^ a pro Controller sint a nescessity on Xbox given that the standard Controller equates what Nintendo labels as "pro" on their system.

UnHoly_One1643d ago

The pro controller is as close to being "required" as any accessory ever can be.

I would NEVER, repeat NEVER, want to use those crappy little joycon things. They look tiny and awful.

yeahokwhatever1643d ago

Your statement makes no sense. To Bill Gates, the Switch costs 299.99. To a bum living in a box, the Switch costs 299.99. Apparently money can't buy a decent education.

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FallenAngel19841645d ago

Considering that many people will find issue with the Joy-Con's sorry excuse for a D-Pad, many will opt to get a Pro Controller instead.

Switch is more expensive than it is. Just to get NS to have the same amount of internal storage, Ethernet port, conventional controller, & voice chat that is available out of the box on PS4 and XO will end up making Switch a more costlier system. Those are just basic necessities on PS4 and XO that are treated like premium offerings on NS. This would be more forgivable if Switch were offered at a lower price similar to how Wii was offered at a lower price than 360 and PS3. However it is being offered at the same price and it still doesn't offer hardware parity with certain features, which is even more egregious.

This doesn't even get into how the free games on Nintendo's online subscription service go away in a month while they stay on your PSN and XBL accounts as long as you stay subscribed to PS+ & XBLG.

Like I said you'd have a tough time trying to convince gamers more accustomed to PlayStation and Xbox to migrate over to Switch.

wonderfulmonkeyman1645d ago (Edited 1645d ago )

Pro controller still isn't a necessity, though. That's a choice no matter how much one hates the Dpad.

We don't know how expensive the online program is so it's unfair to add that on as something "costly" until we've seen it.

Again, additional storage is something all console owners do at this point. Even people I know that own 2TB PS4's have so much installed that they've bought externals in preparation for when the consoles ae filled, so it's not fair to add that to the price tag unless you're gonna do the same for the others.

Wii U and Wii ethernet adapters may work on Switch so there goes a good amount of expense from that, and not everyone uses wired in the first place so saying that's a necessary expense for everyone is wrong.

The only thing I'll agree with is that their freebie system is bad.
But then again, no price tag known for it, and it's not like Sony didn't pull similar bs with PSNow.

Again, I don't like a lot of the things Nintendo's doing with the Switch, but saying the console is drastically more expensive using accessories as an excuse, is a bad argument that can, and SHOULD, be turned around on anyone using it in a flash, with stuff like the cost of elite controllers on XBOX and VR accessories on PS4P, to discourage the use of said argument in the first place.

The Switch is $299 American Dollars. Not $400+ AD's.
At best, you can argue that no pack in game raises the cost a bit, which is a fair argument and something I wish Nintendo would reconsider without raising the price.

FallenAngel19841644d ago

Having a conventional controller is a choice that PlayStation and Xbox gamers don't even have to consider.

We already have details that the free games are only available monthly as opposed to staying on your account as long as you're a subscriber. That alone makes it a less valuable service than PSN & XBL among other things.

It's not as drastic on other consoles. The HDD sizes that ship with PS3, 360, PS4 & XO units nowadays are large enough to ensure users that they can at the very least store multiple AAA games, DLC, etc on it. With NS you are severely limited right out of the gate, especially considering a marquee title like Breath of the Wild will take up half the entire internal storage. You're far more limited on Switch as opposed to the other non-Nintendo HD consoles.

You'd have to buy the Ethernet adapter if you don't already have one, which further justifies my question of why would a non Nintendo fan buy such a device. The fact that Nintendo continues to refuse to put in such a simple port cannot be defended. People should have a choice right of the box if they want to go wired or wireless, not have to buy a separate appliance just for a more stable connection.

PS Now isn't required to play online. Nintendo's subscription service will be, and that doesn't sound very encouraging considering how behind the curve they've been in the online realm since the start of the 21st century. The fact you need a smartphone just to voice chat and set up lobbies instead of such basic features being internally built into the console speaks for itself.

The console is only reasonably priced for diehard Nintendo fans who will find ways to justify certain shortcomings. If you're primarily a PlayStation or Xbox gamer, it'll be extremely hard to consider migrating to another platform that doesn't even have parity features with the device you already have.

You're talking about premium accessories. I'm talking about basic accessories and features that are readily available on non Nintendo consoles that you'd have to pay for on Switch. These two things cannot be compared, unless you're a diehard Nintendo fan.

Erik73571644d ago (Edited 1644d ago )

never bought a nintendo console and I'm getting the Switch like in the fall...not a die hard fan.

The controls are a little nicer and have more stuff in em, that's why they are $20 dollars more. Not saying it's cheap but there's a reason they are more expensive. I don't even imagine buying more anyway because it essentially comes with two controllers with the console to play local co op with.

rjason121644d ago (Edited 1644d ago )

Do you really have to come on every Switch post, just to try and s**t-post? I mean we see you in at least every 5/10 articles that pass by, trying to convince people not to buy the console. People never see me I'm Microsoft/Sony articles posting negative things about them.

Dude, whatever. Continue on your crusade.

Mrveryodd1644d ago (Edited 1644d ago )

He is telling the truth ... This bloody thing is a joke .... $550 with Zelda where I live .... I payed $9 more for a PlayStation pro and it had a terabyte of space ... Not 32 gig

1644d ago
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Moonman1645d ago (Edited 1645d ago )

All you need is the console and a game. Why are people retarded? You can buy extras later. If you have a family, then you are used to buying extra controllers with systems for party games.

EddieNX 1644d ago

Im gettin a Switch with Zelda, that's it. The joy con grip that comes wit the Switch looks really comfy so I'm going to skip the pro control for now. The onboard 32gb will enough to download a couple indie games and VC games.

So what else do i need? When Mario kart comes out I'll have 2 joycon and that's all I need because I don't play 4 player Mario kart, I make people take turns lol

InMyOpinion1643d ago

It's semi-retarded to buy it in the first case. If you get all the extras to go along you are more or less in full retard mode.

ninsigma1645d ago (Edited 1645d ago )

The author themselves say that everything you need to get started is in the box (minus the game of course) so I don't see where these hidden costs are coming from because everything else is optional. The AC adaptor (for when on the go) is likely the only thing I'd consider a hidden cost maybe but other than that, you don't NEED more controllers or a charging grip. Yes the accessories are expensive but again, optional. The console itself is also over priced imo but that's not exactly a hidden cost is it??

Edit: fixed meaning of sentence.

ShadowWolf7121644d ago

Because you have to pay for things that come standard in other consoles charging the same price.

SegaGamer1643d ago (Edited 1643d ago )

That's not true. With the PS4 and Xbox One, i didn't get an extra controller, an extra HDD or charging kit. I just got everything that was needed. What are these things that this article lists that would be included with any other console ?

EDIT: I'm getting disagree's but not a single person can say why. If you are going to disagree then tell me why. What i said above is 100% fact.

superchiller1644d ago

Just like the Wii U before it, Nintendo cut corners like crazy on the Switch to maximize their profits, at the expense of their loyal fans.

Rumb13stiltzkin1644d ago

"Loyal fans?" What's the last Nintendo console you owned..? N64?

nitus101644d ago


My last Nintendo console was the Gamecube which had a mini DVD of 1.5GB capacity. Contrast that to DVD which could hold 4.7GB and 9.4GB (double density) which was used by the PS2 and the original XBox.

I won't deny that the Game cube was a more powerful machine than the PS2 and some of the games for the Gamecube did look that much nicer graphically. Also, the Gamecube did have a reasonable controller that was closer to what the PS2 and the XBox had.

Then along came the Wii and now we have a standard definition gaming console when the other two consoles (PS3 and XBox360) supported High Definition. At least the WiiU supported high definition but look what happened to that.

madforaday1643d ago


How can you even say that the Gamecube had a reasonable controller that was close to the PS2 and Xbox!?

For me personally, that was one reason why I didn't buy a Gamecube during that time.

superchiller1644d ago (Edited 1644d ago )

As I said in another thread:

$300 - Switch console
$60 - game
$40-80 - 128gb or 256gb memory card (the Switch has a pitiful 25gb available internally )

Total $400-440 for the console with one game and much less storage than the competition (which come with 500gb of internal storage and a game). And if you want a real controller instead of the tiny Switch joypads, add another $70 for the Pro controller. This system is massively overpriced and substantially less powerful than the competition. Nintendo had better re-think the whole thing, or they're going to have a Wii U 2 on their hands.

hellothere19771644d ago (Edited 1644d ago )

ps4 launch:

$400 - ps4 console
$60 - Game

switch's carts don't need to install on the hdd. ps4 500gb fills up after roughly 16 games YOU BOUGHT ON DISK. even if switch's games take 1gb each for game profiles/saves, that would be 32 games you can get before hdd fills up.

it's funny how you people love to point out the disadvantages of the switch, yet turn a blind eye to the advantages it has over ps4/xbox:

1) wanna take your ps4 on the go? $200 for a vita (don't see you adding that "cost" in)
2) faster loads and less hdd storage due to cartridges.
3) consistently high rated first party nintendo games: mario, zelda, splatoon, donkey kong, POKEMON, SSB, Mario Karts, metroid, etc.
4) two screen capability
5) nintendo quality control (rrod, blue light special, anyone?)

nitus101644d ago

I have a combination of Indies, first party, third party and AAA games on my PS4 and so far for 35 full games and 6 demos I have used about 334GB with 1GB of saves. Just the full games alone (I like RPG's and Action/Adventure) is enough for hundreds of hours of gameplay.

Becuase the Switch is a portable device having games on cartridges is essential, however you also have to consider the performance of the cartridge which in the case of buying a Nintendo branded cartridge with game will have a performance to play that game efficiently.

For people who just want to download games, they will require a micro SD card but you really do have to be careful since there are cheap micro SD cards that have a maximum read of 25MB/sec to high-performance class 10 micro SD cards that have performances ranging from 50MB/sec to over 250MB/sec and for higher performance and capacity you are going to pay a premium. Nintendo has been pretty quiet on this.

What is interesting is that a 5400rpm HDD can read at 80MB/sec to 110MB/sec (depends on brand) and this is the minimum performance of the user changeable storage of a PS4.

ShadowWolf7121644d ago (Edited 1644d ago )

The PS4 was never pitched or pushed with the idea of taking it on the go. Remote play was pitched as a perk of owning both. You can also do Remote Play on your PC or an Xperia phone too. And you can find a Vita for a little over $100 if you know where to look.

Faster loads is rather subjective, and having to load of a MicroSD is gonna be a long wait unless you spring for a high-end one.

The games are nice, provided you're into those franchises. (Also lolMetroid)

"Two screen capability" what?

I mean, my Wii bricked on me, so there's that.

Mrveryodd1644d ago

And yet its slower than a ps4 ... By a lot .... It's 3 1/2 years old ..... 32 gig is not a hd .... My phone has more storage and a much better screen ... For f sake this is 2017 ... Not 2014 .... To charge this much is pure greed ... Nothing else ..... This hard wear is not that expensive to produce .... If Sony and Microsoft can build there machines which have much better hard wear for less of a price ... Nintendo are stealing your money .... This new thing will be more than $100 cheaper by Christmas and even that is $150 to much still

superchiller1643d ago (Edited 1643d ago )

@ hellothere - Your math skills are terrible. Let me fix that for you:

$250 - PS4 or XB1 consoles, one or more games bundled, "pro" controller included, 500gb storage (no need to upgrade immediately), whereas the measly 25gb (usable) storage in the Switch would run out with two digital games installed. What a joke.

You're truly blind to the truth; you have to tell yourself something to justify overpaying for all the Switch stuff. And in the end, it will probably be as bad or worse than the awful Wii U.

PapaBop1643d ago

Doesn't your head hurt from all that spinning?

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Zhipp1643d ago

The problem with your logic is that the Switch doesn't need storage as much as the PS4/XB1 because installs are not mandatory. If you buy ten games on a PS4, you're out of space. At that point on a Switch you'll still have... 25GB! Does that mean at that point the Switch's storage is actually worth more?

Also, I didn't like the DS2-3. In fact, I hated them. Doesn't mean I went around adding the cost of a thrid party controller to the system.

superchiller1643d ago

So by your logic, no one will be buying digital games for the Switch? All games that come out for the system will have physical releases?

Both of the above statements are untrue. Digital game sales are a huge part of the gaming ecosystem these days. If Nintendo didn't plan ahead to allow for that, they failed.

Zhipp1643d ago

I think that a lot of people will buy digital games for the Switch, but that the vast majority of digital purchases will be indies and VC, which rarely take up over 2.5GB. Those few people who plan to buy a bunch of full $60 games digitally will just have to pay up for the additional storage space, but that is their choice; they still have the option to buy those games physically.

Nintendo did plan ahead for digital sales, which is why they included a future proof sd card reader for once. I'm not sure what you expect them to do. The portable nature of the Switch necessitates that it uses flash storage, which is expensive. Would you prefer if they had a 128GB sku for $400? I suppose that could have been a good option to have, if it included a pack in title.