When the Nintendo Switch launches on March 3rd of this year, it will do so without a bundled game. While some have criticized Nintendo for not including the tech demo-ish title 1-2-Switch in the box, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime claims that this was all done in order to keep the Switch’s price under $300.
Fils-Aime told GameSpot that achieving a $299 launch price in the US was a priority in determining how to launch the Switch in that market.
“The first decision that we make is where do we want to be in terms of the hardware price point that’s going to be approachable and hit the marketplace we want?” explains Fils-Aime. “And from a US price point, we wanted to be at $299 […] So we start there.
“And then it’s all about, what’s going to be included? Obviously the inclusion of the two Joy-Con, critically important; all the right cables, the dock, critically important. We also have to do this from a financial perspective as well. Once we got to that bundle, it really needed to be at $299 without a piece of software […] and let the consumer decide what games they want to buy.”
While Nintendo has largely been praised for its decision to launch the Switch at $299, many have criticized the company for its pricing of Switch games and accessories. For instance, at $70, the console’s Pro Controller is more expensive than either a standard PS4 or Xbox controller, and Nintendo has given little, if any reason for the high prices on these items.
At the same time, most new consoles don’t ship with bundled games, so Nintendo is arguably just following the trend here. We’ll have to wait and see whether their decision to not include a game with the system ultimately helps or hinders the Switch’s appeal.