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Price, performance and software... those are the three things that can really determine how alluring a game console looks to the customer. The Nintendo Switch already comes in at a $299 price point, and that has made some gamers leery of purchasing it. However, some people would be willing to change that view if it came bundled with a game, such as 1-2 Switch. Well, Nintendo executive Reggie Fils-Aime explained why one of the launch titles isn't bundled into the package and it's to keep it under $299.
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? And from a US price point, we wanted to be at $299...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.
It would have been nice if the Nintendo Switch needed to be at $299 with a piece of software.
Right now there are some people who have already given up on the Switch because it isn't $250. Some have expressed reservations that $299 is steep, but if it came with a game, such as the party game launch title 1-2 Switch, it would be an instant buy. Others feel it's just too overpriced compared to the $250 bundles for the Xbox One and PS4 available at some outlets.
The thing is, there's a fine line that Nintendo is threading in order to sell the Nintendo Switch at a profit (which is something they always aim to do with their consoles and portable devices) and also keep the hybrid console at an affordable price for consumers.
Nintendo managed to find that perfect sweet spot with the Wii, which launched at $250 and came with Wii Sports. The Wii became an instant phenomenon and managed to sell out around the world. What's more is that it ended up winning seventh gen gaming, putting Nintendo back up top as a prime time console manufacturer. The complete opposite happened with the Wii U, which ended up faltering due to a high price ($299 and $329 respectively) and the fact that a lot of people were confused as to what it was.
The bigger question is: had the Wii U not had such a confused marketing message, would casuals have flocked to pick one up?
It's one of those questions that will forever remain a mystery, but is also one of the biggest variables in whether or not the Switch will catch on with casuals. If the marketing isn't confused and casuals do know what the Switch is, will they be inclined to pick one up?
At that point the answer boils down to price and software. And in this case, Reggie Fils-Aime believes $299 is the magic number for the Nintendo Switch, which is why it won't come bundled with 1-2 Switch. If casuals are a-okay with that, then it's just a matter of ensuring that compelling software is made available for the platform at a consistent rate.