What's the Real Cost of The Nintendo Switch?

The Switch is being praised and scrutinized for it's incredibly low $299.99 price point, but there's a ton of hidden fees to be wary of.

The Nintendo Switch has a lot of people excited but a lot of people skeptical as well, and for rightful reasons. Whether you are hyped for or just sitting on the knowledge you have for the Switch, there is no doubt hidden costs within all the products that are either essential to or key helping hands in the enjoyment of the Switch. So what is the actual total cost? How much should one be prepared to spend to fully experience the Switch for what it is and in all of its glory?

Let’s first start with the basis that the Switch will launch on March 3rd, a time that is coming up rather fast. The retail price is $299.99 for the console and according to Nintendo everything you need is included in the box but the multiplayer gaming aspect of the Switch contains a lot more than may meet the eye and will be more convoluted and troublesome than what you may think.

Let’s start with some of the accessories and work our way towards the larger essentials just to cover some basis on what you don’t need but may very well want to pick up. The first item on the list is the charging grip. This is something that the out of box Switch only comes with one Joy-Con Grip. This device connects the two Joy-Con controllers and forms a more traditional controller design for players. With only one coming with the console, if you have any friends over or have anyone that wants to play locally with you, they’re going to not need, but prefer to use something that doesn’t destroy their hands for a simple task. This device will end up costing you around $30 give or take some for local taxes and sales you may find.

Next up on the chopping block is the Switch Pro controller. This is a ghastly $69.99 and all for what, a mere redesign of a controller? It may seem as such but the Pro controller is supposed to offer support to players who are used to a more traditional controller design, for example the Xbox One or Dual Shock controllers with their button layouts and D-Pad locations.  The Switch’s current design isn’t too accommodating to players who decide to try out the controller similarities so the guys at Nintendo built this contraption. It will resemble a traditional controller but why the massive markup? There’s been no clarity on the reasoning but knowing Nintendo, it may be some incredibly “unique” and Switch specific functions, perhaps geared towards the motion control. Regardless, it gets rather pricey for this unit rather fast.

Another rather astonishing price tag you may find across your shopping is another pair of Joy-Con controllers. Selling for $49.99 each or at $79.99 per pair, you may not need an extra pair but one of the main titles teased was that of the game Arms, which requires multiplayer on a local scale. How do you think you’re going to play that game without an extra set of Joy-Con controllers? Yepp, it’s time to shell out even more cash for extra controllers, which one again are rather pricey compared to other controllers on the market. Also, buying solo may create some issues as there’s differences between the right and left controllers which many may find rather irritating to have to deal with.

Perhaps the largest of things that baffles us on the required upgrade scale is that of the internal memory. We live in an age of massive amounts of data and storage is a must. However, the Switch only comes with 32GB of built in storage… 32GB. While it’s not even an intensive game storage wise, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild offers a rather interesting perspective for how little this is. Zelda will require 13.4GB of space on the Switch. That is just under 50% of the storage allotted with the console at release and right out of the box. Depending on the cards that you decide to upgrade, the pricing will vary. That said, you don’t need to once again upgrade this but unless you plan on installing only 2 games at a time, it’d be recommended that is something to upgrade.

If you tally all of this up, the price tag comes out a bit higher than that $299.99 as expected. Instead, if you add everything together plus of course your games which will run you around $60 each, your grand total will be somewhere in the range of $550, which give or take the amount for upgrades and certain options is still way higher than the anticipated price.  The worst part is that it only climbs higher and higher as more accessories come out and as more things are introduced like the multiplayer services. While there’s much skepticism in the community around the Switch, with details like this, it’s pretty clear that it’s warranted.

Jordan Gable

Creator, social media & game addict, student. I travel the world sometimes to play video games.

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