There’s a growing concern on why Nintendo Switch games cost more than their counterparts for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC platform. So it’s high time that this issue gets addressed before players even ditch the idea of owning a Switch or purchasing the game for the new console.
When the various games for the Nintendo Switch were announced, the thing that possibly shocked many players is how different their pricing is compared to the versions that are coming to other established consoles. For example, puzzle-based game RiME has been revealed to cost $10 more on the Nintendo Switch platform. So instead of having it for the retail price of $29.99 like in the PS4, Xbox One and PC versions, players will have to spend $39.99 just to own the Switch version of the game.
Eurogamer did some digging on the issue and it turned to RiME developer Tequila Works for some answers. The Spanish studio told the former that they factored in the cost of development and publishing the game before setting the price. “We set prices for our products based on the costs of development and publishing for each specific platform,” Tequila Works said.
Given the developer’s statement, it makes sense that the physical copy for the Nintendo Switch would cost more. After all, developers and publishers need to spend on the game carts of their games. Also, games with bigger sizes will require larger capacity carts, and this would further increase the cost of the game. Furthermore, despite its smaller form factor, game cartridges cost more to make than Blu-ray discs for other consoles.
As for the games that are downloadable from the Nintendo eShop, they still cost the same as the physical copy due to Nintendo’s policy that physical versions and downloadable copies should follow the same pricing. This is to ensure that both versions would sell to gamers who would then purchase either of the two depending on their preference.
The retail price-matching policy of Nintendo appears to be not applicable to titles that are offered only as downloads. This is true for certain download-only games like “Snake Pass,” which is $20 on all platforms. “‘Snake Pass’ is digital only and we have no issue keeping the price the same across all platforms digitally,” Sumo Digital COO Paul Porter said. “Indeed, it was important to us that people wouldn’t be penalized by which platform they decided to purchase.”
What’s quite troubling here is the fact that Forzenbyte and GameTrust’s “Has-Been Heroes” will be launching for $20 on the Nintendo Switch, and the same pricing applies to versions for the PS4, Xbox One and PC. Ars Technica says this could be an indication that the cost of manufacturing game cartridges should’t have been passed on to players.