In a recent interview with Nikkei Asia, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said the company has no plans “at the moment” to increase the price of the Switch. Despite “rising production and shipping costs” for the system, Furukawa said Nintendo “wants to avoid people from its console ecosystem” (a concern apparently not shared by Meta, which recently increased the asking price of its Quest 2 VR headset) .
While some may read the “right now” phrasing as suggesting a future Switch price hike, all this talk has left us focused on a number of different questions. Namely, why haven’t we seen a price? drop for the Nintendo Switch in the past five years? And can we? ever expect Nintendo to offer the system for less than the launch price?
A historical anomaly
When it comes to consistent console pricing, the Switch really is in a league of its own. At the time of writing, the Switch has been available in North America for over five years – nearly 2,000 days – but still sells in the US for the same $299.99 you would have paid when the system launched in March 2017. launched.
To say this is unprecedented in the gaming industry is an understatement.
Looking back at the history of game console pricing, we found that the vast majority of consoles see their first price drop within a year or two of launch. It’s a pattern that includes successful systems like the PS2 (which dropped from $300 to $200 about 17 months after launch in the US) to stinkers like the Wii U (which saw a $50 price drop just 10 months after launch). ), and almost everything in between.
The few consoles that make it to their second full year without a price drop almost always see some sort of drop in year three. The Switch, on the other hand, has now shot through years three, four and five for its original price.
After five years on the market, the average game console (which has not completely stopped production at that point) sells for an average price that is about 50 to 60 percent of the nominal launch price (depending on whether you look at the average or the median). The Switch, which is still at 100 percent of its nominal launch price five years after launch, is a huge outlier.
The only previous console that is really in the same price stability as the Switch is the Nintendo Wii. That system eventually dropped from $250 to $200 in November 2009, just over 1,100 days after launching in late 2006. The Switch, for its part, is now threatening double that record.