Yes, we'll have a definitive price in just over one day. And yes, we've already seen a few (false) leaks purporting to show the Switch's launch line-up. But it's hard not to be excited over this most recent rumor, which actually stands a decent chance of being true.
The rumor? The price of the Switch at launch.
A $250 Price Tag Has Been Reported By Several Retailers
The rumor from this morning comes from a Reddit thread in which a (supposedly verified) Best Buy employee claims to have spotted the Switch's SKU (stock-keeping unit) in the store's inventory system, and that the SKU lists the price at $249.99. This isn't the only store to report a price in this range, though. We've also seen the following retailers with alleged prices:
- A Canadian Toys "R" Us listed it at $329.99 CAD (which is essentially $250 USD).
- UK retailer GAME claims the base unit will cost £199.99 (which, again, is very close to $250).
- Nikkei, a Japanese newspaper, told reporters to expect to pay around ¥25,000 (which is a slightly lower $215 USD).
In other words, a decent number of sources are putting the Switch at a $250 USD price point. Considering Nintendo isn't aiming for a console that boasts the best graphics or high-end internal tech, but rather one that can be played by anyone, this price makes a lot of sense.
Not only does this price line up with a lot of current-gen technology with comparable capabilities (at least in terms of resolution and FPS), but it also means that right from the get-go, the console will be much more easily purchased by interested parties. Nintendo wants — arguably needs — a successful, mass-appeal console. A $250 USD price point would be a perfect way to do that.
Furthermore, this price follows suit with previous Nintendo launch-price trends. In fact, up until the Wii, Nintendo consistently launched consoles at $200. And even after that, prices never rose too high — the Wii launched at $250 and the Wii U at $300. For comparison's sake, no Sony or Microsoft console has launched lower than $300 (with the #PS4 and #XboxOne launching at $400 and $500, respectively).
There Are Some $300 Reports Though — These Mean We'll Likely See Bundles
Earlier in the week, however, there were reports of a $299.99 version appearing in Target's inventory. Unfortunately, the inventory system (or the information leaker) did not reveal if this was associated with a bundle. However, with #BreathOfTheWild all but confirmed as a launch title, it would make sense to see a version of the Switch bundled with the game.
Not to mention, there are several images of alleged accessories for the Switch (including the one above) that would fit perfect with a Zelda bundle. If the standard console is $250, a Switch title is somewhere near $60, and the skin set above is $10, Nintendo could easily bundle them together at a slightly reduced price — that is, $300.
Similarly, other alleged Switch accessories have leaked and could point to other launch-day bundles. In the rare case that you want the Switch but not Breath of the Wild, it seems more and more likely we'll be getting a Splatoon title, a new Mario Kart, and everyone's favorite Elder Scrolls title at launch.
Would Nintendo really launch with multiple bundles? If they're going with skins — as opposed to out-of-the-box color variants — then it's pretty easy to see them letting you buy a bundle to begin and then purchase more skins at your leisure. Not to mention, they're, uh, not really afraid to make a whole lot of 3DS variants. It certainly wouldn't be out of character for Nintendo to release more than one type of Switch bundle.
If This Info Is Accurate, Anyone Who Wants To Secure A Switch May Want To Pre-Order
Yeah, yeah, "Don't pre-order!!!" may as well be the gaming mantra for the next several years, but this is a special case — or at least I suspect it will be for a lot of people. Unless Nintendo somehow manages to completely and utterly implode, what you see at tomorrow's event is what you get.
Which is to say, it's easy to show a video game's good sides in previews and have the final product be totally different, but a console is a console. It has technical specs, certain exclusive IPs (like Mario and Zelda), and, of course, a price. In the Switch's case, the parts that may remain up in the air after tomorrow are performance and battery life when not connected to the docking station.
In other words, unless you plan to play exclusively on-the-go and would be frustrated by limited battery life, if you like what you see tomorrow, it'll be hard to dislike what you get in March. And considering the Switch's price, historical demand for consoles at launch, and Nintendo's overall goal of mass appeal, it may be hard to find a (non-scalped) console post-launch.
We'll know more tomorrow, but until then, what price do you hope the Switch launches at?