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How much will the Nintendo Switch cost?

Rumours, reports, and precedents

How much will the Nintendo Switch cost?
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Just how much will the Nintendo Switch Cost? It's the big question of 2017, right alongside: 'Will there be a 2018?'.

Nintendo is going to be lifting the lid on its new Switch console in the early hours of Friday morning. We're extremely excited, as is a healthy portion of the internet.

The price of the Switch is a pretty major issue. After all, if Nintendo sets the price sufficiently low, we could have an early 2017 hit. Price it too high and we may have a historic flop, and potentially the last ever Nintendo console.

So, what do we know about the Nintendo Switch pricing? Nothing concrete, but there are plenty of rumours and reports doing the rounds. First up, though, let's take a look at why speculating about the Switch price has been so tricky.

Running for precedent

Given that the Switch is the very first mainstream device of its kind - a hybrid console that serves as both home entertainment system and handheld - there's relatively little precedent by which to predict the Switch price.

Put crudely, the Switch is a bit of a mash-up of Nintendo's two main consoles from the last generation - the Wii U and the 3DS. So a look at how much they cost at launch could prove instructive.

The Wii U launched in 2012 with prices starting from £250, while the Nintendo 3DS hit the UK the year before for £220. It's interesting to note the similarity of those prices, and tempting to speculate that the Switch might fall into a similar price bracket.

That's particularly tempting when we bring in the aforementioned PS Vita - a powerful (for its time) handheld console that took a familiar angle of offering home console gaming on the go. When the PS Vita hit the UK in early 2012, prices started from £230.

If we're going according to precedent, then, we'd say that £230 was a pretty good bet for the Nintendo Switch pricing.

Internet rumour

So what do reputable sources have to say about the Switch pricing issue? A recent report from respected Japanese news outlet Nikkei had the internet all in a tizzy recently for supposedly claiming that the Switch could cost 25,000 yen.

As pointed out by DualShockers, this isn't quite the bold claim some thought it was. Rather, it's a piece of speculation highlighting 25,000 yen as a guide price. It's easy to see why - Nintendo has charged this amount for all of its consoles going back to the SNES, including the Wii U (and the 3DS for that matter).

Of course, that's not to say that we should discount this opinion piece altogether. We would expect Nikkei to have plenty of well placed sources in the know throughout the Japanese games industry.

If Nintendo does stick with its tried-and-tested price, and taking fluctuating exchange rates and regional taxes into account, you could roughly equate it to a little over the £200 mark or around $250.

It's worth pointing out that this price tallies with other rumours. For example, Online retailer Gameseek has made the console available for pre-order at £198.50. Other sources, allegedly from within Game UK, have repeated this price claim.

Perhaps crucially, such a price would undercut the current models of the PS4 and Xbox One at around the £250/$300 mark. Both are significantly more powerful than the Switch, so such a price gap may be essential in terms of the public perception of value.

Our optimistic but well-supported guess, then, would be for a £200/$250 Nintendo Switch launch price. We'll know for sure this Friday from 4am GMT. Or, let's be honest, a few hours later when we all drag ourselves out of bed.