We are halfway through February and it means one thing for Nintendo fans, we are two weeks away from the launch of Nintendo Switch! Nintendo’s latest home console first made headlines last year for showing off revolutionary gameplay and the idea that you can mix portability with console gaming, and the hype has been steadily building up ever since. We finally got a taste of what’s to come during the Nintendo Switch Presentation, as we are bombarded with info after info of the console’s distinctive features and some of its upcoming games. Most importantly, we can prepare our bank accounts ahead of time after the suggested retail price was revealed to be $299.99, which is around RM1300++. Sounds affordable right? Until you take a look at the local retail price.
There are only a handful of local video game retailers that will be selling the Switch in Malaysia, though you can expect something common from all of them, be prepared to fork out at least RM2,000 to own a Nintendo Switch. Here’s a comparison of all the price listings as of now:
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe Gamers Hideout is the first local retailer that set a price point for the Nintendo Switch and being one of the most recognizable gaming outlets, fans were disappointed with what they offered. A Nintendo Switch Launch Bundle (comes with Gray Joy-Con controllers + 1-2-Switch + The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild) will cost you RM2,299, while the second variant of the bundle (the only difference is the color of the Joy-Con controllers: Neon Blue and Neon Red) is worth RM2,399. Netizens were totally not impressed with it once they made the announcement on their Facebook page, and to make matters worse, you have to top up another RM100 if you order any of the bundles after February 16.
Impulse Gaming & GameOn
If you want to be the first to announce the price for an upcoming product, make sure your deal can compete in the market. Impulse Gaming took some lessons out of it and they came up with an RM2,099 price point for both versions of the bundle, along with an RM100 cash voucher for all walk-in/retail purchases, while both online and walk-in purchases will receive a mystery gift as well. If the price point and free gifts are not attractive enough, they even provided a detailed FAQ about the status for pre-order batches, final price calculation, and warranty. GameOn is also offering both bundles at the price of RM2,099, but don’t expect to get any free gifts from them.
And of course, out of all the retailers who are competing in terms of offering the best price point, one will just simply opt for the cheapest option. That honor goes to M4G, as a Nintendo Switch Gray Joy-Con Bundle only costs you RM2,089 (yea, I know the difference is only RM10, but hey, credit should be given where its due).
As we all can see, it’s slightly naïve of us to think that we can simply own a Switch just by converting the SRP from $299.99 to RM1300++, because the world is not simply as straightforward as we think it is. To have a deeper understanding of why the price difference is close to double, you should know that Nintendo doesn’t have an official presence in Southeast Asia so their products have been brought in by Singaporean distributor Maxsoft. And according to industry sources, the bundling of two games with the console is compulsory, hence the marked up price. Impulse Gaming even provided a detailed calculation on how they came up with their price point, which is fair enough considering they are most probably not going to earn much out of it.
With that said, it's still slightly overkilled if you compare with other consoles in the market. A 500GB PlayStation 4 slim will costs you around RM1,200, and if you want to look at bundled consoles, a PS4 Uncharted Adventure Pack (comes with Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Uncharted 4) can be bought at RM1,419, while a Xbox One S Battlefield 1 Special Edition costs RM1,599. Even if you add in two extra games on top any of them, the final price will still be less than RM2,000. You can also argue that the local price point for the Switch is due to the fact that it’s at launch, which is fair considering the PS4 was launched with the price tag of RM1,799 (add in any two games and it’ll be around RM2,300). But surely Nintendo or Maxsoft would realized that they can’t compete head to head with Sony in terms of popularity or even Microsoft for that matter, which also doesn’t have an official presence in Southeast Asia. And on top of that, Switch owners are expected to spend more on accessories and the Nintendo Switch Online Service. They can only hope that fans can forgo the huge price difference and look at different aspects of the Switch, such as the type of games that they are offering, the unique gameplay experience that you’ll get, and most importantly, proper 3rd party support.
Personally, I’m intrigued and excited with what the Switch is capable of, but by being a Sony fanboy myself (just like most of the gamers who grown up in this region), I’ll sit out on Nintendo’s revolutionary home console for the time being. Though I might give it a try if the price drops to the same standards in the current market.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Gamehubs.