In a rare move by Nintendo, the company has responded to recent claims that the Nintendo Switch OLED model will be a more profitable system than its other consoles. While not really stating who they were responding to, most likely this was aimed at a recent Bloomberg article, which we covered, pointing to a price to manufacture increase of only 10 dollars.
Nintendo commented in a tweet:
A news report on July 15, 2021 (JST) claimed that the profit margin of the Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) would increase compared to the Nintendo Switch. To ensure correct understanding among our investors and customers, we want to make clear that the claim is incorrect.
Rumors of an upgraded switch have persisted since 2018. In most of those cases, the rumors clocked the new Switch as running 4k while docked into the TV and maintaining 1080p in handheld mode. While that did not ultimately come to pass, multiple rumors stand true about the OLED including the full-body stand, improved dock, and wider screen.
Rumors then came out that a possible 4k version of the switch was coming next year, but Nintendo of America head Doug Bowser has denied this. Nintendo has also never been a studio that relies on the most cutting-edge resolutions, owing to the more cartoony look of many of its major games.
Normally I prefer to not take a side in these matters, but it is important to note here that if the cost of manufacturing has increased but only $10, then their statement would be untrue, and honestly harmful. Since we know the cost of manufacturing a Switch has decreased since they first hit the market, a fact that stands true of every system, this minor increase in cost against a $50 dollar increase in price could be a large amount.
Almost every company gives their consoles a revamp, such as the Xbox One S and The PlayStation 4 Slim, which usually drops at the same or less than the base version, owing to the tech powering them being more manageable later on. In this case, an OLED screen could be seen as more lifecycle improvement on par with changes done to the console before. It is becoming extremely hard to defend the choice to advertise a system with the same power being marketed as an improved version.
This issue matters little though as most likely the system will do extremely well and Nintendo will make a hefty profit on it. They don’t need to, however, as the Nintendo Switch sales have exceeded 84 million dollars with the company recording record profits this year.