New revelations about the manufacturing process have shed light on why Nintendo Switch games are so expensive. According to a new report, it is significantly more expensive to put a game on a Nintendo Switch cartridge than it is to put a game on a Blu-ray disc like those that the PS4 and Xbox One consoles use. This could explain why multi-platform games like RIME cost more on the console than they do on other systems.
In a report by Eurogamer, it seems as if the size of the Nintendo Switch game cartridges is also to blame. As Switch cartridges come in sizes ranging between 1GB and 32GB (32GB is the most expensive), the bigger the game, the bigger the cost. And although buying cartridges in bulk can offset the cost of the bigger size, the publication notes that Nintendo Switch indie developers who aren’t expecting their games to sell astonishingly well can’t take advantage of that.
Moreover, it is said that Nintendo has a policy that games on the console’s eShop must be priced the same as the physical versions, meaning that publishers and developers are unable to offer buyers a discount despite there being no manufacturing price issues. This has reportedly been done in order to keep retailers of physical media on site. A statement from the developer of Snake Pass, a digital-only Switch game, has said that it didn’t want to “penalize” players for the platform they bought the game on, also seems to confirm the policy.
On social media, many gamers have been understanding that Switch cartridges may be more expensive to produce, though they have also expressed much anger at the “anti-consumer” physical and digital pricing policy. Nintendo needs to keep retailers sweet and retailers need to give the console good shelf space if it is to sell well, but many are asking why that has to be at the cost of a good saving on digital purchases for players.
Some are also questioning whether this will harm sales of the console. Nintendo Switch sales could hit five million this year, according to one analytics firm, but how many more people would buy the new system if its games were a little bit more affordable? It’s yet to be seen how or if Nintendo will tweak the policy or help to lower the cost of cartridges, but as gamers complain about the squeeze on their wallets, the company may have to step in.
The Nintendo Switch is available now.