Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime details why Nintendo made the choice to release the Switch by itself, without a bundled game included at launch.
Nintendo officially detailed the Switch last night, revealing its price point and planned games to mixed reactions. However, what the reveal lacked was the typical launch bundle that would include a game. Today, Reggie Fils-Aime explained the lack of a bundled game with the Switch.
In an interview with GameSpot, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime explained that it was a decision made by Nintendo to allow gamers to get exactly what they want for the best price possible. Fils-Aime noted that with a wide range of games expected to launch during the Switch’s first year on the market, the company wanted gamers to be able to pick up the games they wanted while remaining affordable. Bundling a game would have either required raising the Nintendo Switch’s price past $299 or nixing one of the mandatory Switch components, like the Joy-Cons or the Switch dock.
The Switch’s price point is in keeping with the last few home consoles released by Nintendo. The most recent console, the Wii U, originally sold for $299, and the Wii went for $250. While the Switch hasn’t been marketed as a budget console, with its less-powerful processor than the Xbox One and PS4, it makes sense for the unit to cost less than the Microsoft and Sony competitors. It may also give Nintendo an edge in reeling in gamers who aren’t interested in the capacities of the upcoming Project Scorpio and recently-released PS4 Pro.
Considering that the Joy-Cons cost $79.99 by themselves, it was probably the right choice by Nintendo to keep the console release as basic as possible. Even though most Nintendo fans are probably looking forward to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – one of the Switch’s launch titles – chances are most gamers have probably been saddled with a bundled game they had little to no interest in on some system in the past. Of course, it also means that the Switch – at least for now – won’t be released with any limited designs, like the Wind Waker HD Wii U’s Hylian crest gamepad, which may disappoint some players.
There’s still some work to do to impress gamers and investors, as Nintendo’s stock plunged following the Switch showcase. With a budget price and a stronger display of games than the Wii U, however, the Switch might stand a chance at ultimately being a major success for Nintendo.
The Nintendo Switch will release on March 3rd.