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Emabulator 03-13-2017 06:29 AM

Why Nintendo Switch games are ending up more expensive
 

Eurogamer has the story.

Quote:

Well, we've heard that the cost of manufacturing a Nintendo Switch game is higher than the cost of making a PS4, PC or Xbox One game, because the cartridges the Switch uses cost more to make than Blu-ray discs.

We've also heard that the cost of the cart depends on the size of the cart. Switch game card carts come in a variety of capacities: 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB. At a high level, the bigger the cart the more expensive it is, although the price may vary according to print run (lower the volume, higher the price, for example - an issue that may affect indie developers who don't expect to shift a huge number of copies of their game).

Developers working on Switch have to be mindful of the size of the game, because that will determine the cart it'll ship on. (As an aside, we asked Tequila Works how big Rime is on Switch. It replied: "as the Switch version is still being developed by Tantalus Media, we cannot estimate the final size yet.")

But why would a Nintendo Switch game cost more on the Nintendo eShop? Digital games, after all, are just a download. There's no need to factor in costly cart manufacture with an eShop game. Well, we've heard that Nintendo's policy is that Switch eShop games should cost the same as their physical versions, in a bid to keep bricks and mortar shops on-side. A shop such as GAME, for example, is unlikely to go all in on a Switch game if you can download it for half the price instead.

So, we end up in a situation such as Rime, where the game costs 39.99 on Nintendo Switch physical and digital, when the PC, PS4 and Xbox One versions cost just 29.99 physical and digital.

Rime isn't the only game to suffer from this problem, by the way. Puyo Puyo Tetris, from publisher Koch, costs 34.99 on Nintendo Switch both physically and digitally. It costs 24.99 on PS4.
Read on.

SpectralThundr 03-13-2017 07:32 AM

Good going Nintendo, 3rd party development is sure to flock to the Switch. Just die already and do consumers a favor. Never have I seen a publisher so out of touch or just flat out practice anti consumer design decisions on a regular basis basis. And people say Electronic Arts is bad, they ain't got shit on ol Ninty.

Chimpbot 03-13-2017 07:40 AM

http://i.imgur.com/icH6wjHl.png

Scherge 03-13-2017 07:59 AM

This is a complete non-story.
Quote:

But why would a Nintendo Switch game cost more on the Nintendo eShop? Digital games, after all, are just a download. There's no need to factor in costly cart manufacture with an eShop game. Well, we've heard that Nintendo's policy is that Switch eShop games should cost the same as their physical versions, in a bid to keep bricks and mortar shops on-side. A shop such as GAME, for example, is unlikely to go all in on a Switch game if you can download it for half the price instead.
Anyone outraged over this really has no business writing about (commercial) games. Therefore, I see this article as an attempt to educate gaming enthusiasts about a simple industry fact: If you're not selling your game at 20 dollars or less (and unless you're Valve or Blizzard), you'll need retail sales. If you want retailers to stock your game, you can never give another retailer a better price (at least not for the same SKU), and that includes digital platforms. Platform holders want you to be successful, because they profit either way, so they're okay with this.

Edit: There are a lot of reasonable comments on the Eurogamer site as well.

SpectralThundr 03-13-2017 08:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chimpbot (Post 2476845)
insert inane meme here

Next time you cry about EA or Activision remember this thread.

Terran 03-13-2017 08:31 AM

Talk to the music (cds) or movie (DVD/BR) industry about pricing content the same physically and digitally, lol. The gaming industry is still behind (though not as much on the PC platform) what is an inexorable march to digital content at far lower prices, eventually even an 'all you can eat' subscription model, as in music and movies/tv content.

The approach of the gaming industry, especially on consoles, is backward and part of what caused me to leave them at the side of the road. I'm not buying a 'base' game for the same price as the physical 'game of the year' product and then have to also buy the $DLC separately. I expect digital content to be a much better deal, with account-based access and legitimate packages/sales. Sony, MS, and Nintendo are TERRIBLE at pricing digital content, and the latter is also terrible at account-based access to content.

You want me as a customer, you will provide your product in a 'package' that I desire or you won't have me as a customer, and I used to spend a LOT of money on console gaming.

PacerDawn 03-13-2017 08:43 AM

So, let me get this straight... In addition to having to dumb their games down for weaker hardware, publishers are going to have to charge more for the dumbed down versions?

Oh wait, this is Nintendo so it's a non-issue.

ElektroDragon 03-13-2017 09:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpectralThundr (Post 2476843)
Good going Nintendo, 3rd party development is sure to flock to the Switch. Just die already and do consumers a favor. Never have I seen a publisher so out of touch or just flat out practice anti consumer design decisions on a regular basis basis. And people say Electronic Arts is bad, they ain't got shit on ol Ninty.

Yeppers.... totally agree.

Judas 03-13-2017 09:44 AM

It's called GREED!

shadow763 03-13-2017 09:45 AM

I was concerned about game pricing issues with going to cartridge since I lived through the N64 days and paid 80 bucks for a game because it was on a stupid cartridge. It seems like the issues still persist.

shadow763 03-13-2017 10:16 AM

In other news, the Switch is running a version of Webkit that is old enough to be susceptible to exploits that ran on ios 9.3.

Hack away :p

Chimpbot 03-13-2017 10:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpectralThundr (Post 2476850)
Next time you cry about EA or Activision remember this thread.

I won't need to; I don't spend too much time complaining about either of them.

This is the unfortunate side-effect of going with cards as opposed to optical media; it's much more expensive to manufacture. Still, a shift away from optical discs was absolutely necessary given the design and intent behind the hardware. Higher prices aren't great and it's one of the things I'll factor in when looking at multiplatform titles.

At this point, the only response you really deserve is inane memes.

shadow763 03-13-2017 10:20 AM

Nintendo Switch only lets you see your play time for a game after you owned it for 10 days?

Quote:

Simply go to your profile, and where a game previously said "first played nine days ago", it now lists your approximate playtime. This will only show up after you've owned a game for more than 10 days, however.
--Eurogamer

Hellstorm 03-13-2017 10:21 AM

Odd... HZD costs the same on the Playstation Store that it does at a brick and mortar. Damn those 1 and 0's being as expensive as blu-ray discs.

Anemone 03-13-2017 10:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Judas (Post 2476857)
It's called GREED!

No it's not. Brick and Mortars could simply decide to stop selling Nintendo games if they discriminate between physical and digital copies, because they can foresee the obvious, as can we all, that people would start buying digital games primarily.

And that would naturally mean they stop carrying the console too, which would be a huge blow to Switch sales. Combined with the fact that retailers typically make a paltry sum on one-time console sales and make most of their money on game sales.

And since physical game sales are still a significant portion of all game sales, it doesn't make financial sense for Nintendo to not be in stores.

What we need is a clean break from the brick and mortars. It will happen some day.

blackzc 03-13-2017 10:30 AM

These carts will get cheap once Pokemon comes out and sells 20 million. Problem solved.

screwyluie 03-13-2017 10:33 AM

was this something that actually needed to be explained to people? hey guess what the larger SD card you buy the more expensive it is... gosh who would've thought.

Nintendo has always been strict with its prices to make sure no one feels left out and everything is 'fair' across the board.

PatrickRes9 03-13-2017 10:40 AM

Why the Nintendo Switch is terrible. Let me count the reasons. Where do I start? What are things that I can pretend to be "outraged" about.

https://media0.giphy.com/media/mmYy42RNrgA0w/200_s.gif

Chimpbot 03-13-2017 12:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Judas (Post 2476857)
It's called GREED!

You'll find the exact same issue with Xbox One and PS4 titles; all of their digital games cost exactly the same as their retail counterparts...for the very same reasons cited in this article. The digital version of Horizon: Zero Dawn cost exactly the same as the retail version, despite the fact Sony didn't have to worry about a manufacturing or delivery process for the digital version.

If these publishers and manufacturers want retailers to play ball, everything needs to be kept on a level playing field in terms of pricing. Retailers would drop both Sony and Microsoft in a heartbeat if they started undercutting them via their digital stores.

vallor 03-13-2017 12:27 PM

If you look at prices on digital versions of games on Live or PSN, or even Amazon they are more expensive than the physical versions of the same games.

Usually by a wide margin. I can get Fallout 4 for $20 on Amazon for the physical game, but it's still $60 for the digital code. I can get the most recent Assassin's Creed physical at Gamestop new for $20 but on Xbox Live it's $30+.

Nintendo is clearly starting against the grain here however we'll have to see what happens when the market for physical switch games matures. It's tough to compare their policy for game pricing on a new device for pricing on mature platforms. If they start devaluing the software right out of the gate it sets a bad precedent and loses them money at what is probably the most profitable part of the sales cycle.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the policy change later.


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