After two years filled to the brim with rumors about a Super Nintendo Switch coming soon, that would feature 4k capability when docked, Nintendo announced that not as super Nintendo Switch OLED. This semi upgraded version features the same tech that runs the base version but a bigger OLED screen that offers a wider ranger of colors. While new rumors persist that a 4k model is still coming, this is what we got for the time being.
Well, according to a new Bloomberg report on this switch, the cost to manufacture only increases about $10 dollars, even with the minor enhancements. This is of particular note because the console costs more than the base model, with the base being $300 and this new model costing $350. Since the cost of manufacturing a Switch has decreased already in the years since the console has launched, the increased price tag seems even more jarring now than at first glance.
In his interview with Bloomberg, Morningstar’s head of equity research Kazunori Ito stated of this price hike that:
Nintendo failed to provide enough added value to justify a $50 bump in the new hardware. The new hardware is barely half-baked and would do no help at all in sustaining the platform’s momentum. The Switch had its peak last year and is only going to slow down from here.
This is true to some degree. Markets, especially console markets, experience large growth points in which high sales numbers are consistently thrown around. However, these points are usually followed by points where sales taper of, with no console have consistent sales throughout its lifecycle. When throwing a mid-grade console into the mix it is impossible to say with any certainty what that might do to these figures. By comparison though, both the Xbox One X and PlayStation 4 Pro offered considerably more in the way of a technical upgrade.
Other experts disagree with Ito’s opinion, citing the improvements made to display and Nintendo’s popularity as reason enough to expect them to be able to “squeeze $50 more out of consumers.” The console is currently on track to pass 100 million units sold so this could be just the boost they need.
But in truth, the biggest thing here is that Nintendo knows marketing. As most argue, Nintendo would not attempt to sell a console for 50 more dollars if they did not believe they could. As Sony Financial Holdings senior economist Takayuki Miyajima put it:
“Nintendo made a real bold decision because it’s obvious that people would spend more on services and less on goods going forward. From a macroeconomic viewpoint, the move couldn’t be made if they have even a slight concern on how well the console would do.”
Nintendo has confirmed they are constantly developing new hardware, so the 4k Switch could still be seen in the future. This later in the cycle though, it is also possible that plans for it were scrapped in favor of converting that idea into whatever their next console will be. The Nintendo Switch OLED will launch on October 8th.