Nintendo recently announced it was permanently reducing the price of the standard Switch model in the UK/Europe £279.99/€329.99 to £259.99/€269.99. That’s a nice little drop, the first of its kind since the device launched in 2017, and it led many to hope that a similar price cut was on the way for U.S stores. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case, at least for the foreseeable future.
Axios reporter Stephen Totilo (as surfaced by Video games Chronicle) posted a tweet stating that he spoke to Nintendo about the possibility of dropping the Switch price on our shores, with the company saying it has “no plans” to do the same.
Nintendo tells me yesterday’s Switch price drop was just for Europe (and the UK):
“The trade price adjustment is for the European region only. There are no plans to change the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price for any Nintendo Switch model in the U.S.”
— Stephen Totilo (@stephentotilo) September 14, 2021
“The trade price adjustment is for the European region only. There are no plans to change the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price for any Nintendo Switch model in the U.S.,” reads the statement given to Totilo.
Nintendo Switch OLED
The Switch launched in March of 2017 at $299.99, and it has maintained that price since. Outside of the rare sale, the best way to get a cheaper Switch is buying the handheld-only Switch Lite, which launched in 2019 and cost $249.99. While some have understandably been annoyed about this stagnant price point, Nintendo has little incentive to change things up. The Switch is one of the best-selling consoles ever and continues to perform well, moving over 89 million total units as of August 2021.
Nintendo is currently gearing up to launch the $349.99 Switch OLED (pictured above), a new model that features an improved screen and other minor tweaks but runs on the same internal hardware, so it’s not a true successor the way many hoped it was prior to its reveal. Nintendo gave a statement to Video games Chronicle saying the European price cut was done to make way for the OLED, which launches October 8.
“After carefully weighing up a variety of factors, including currency exchange rates in Europe and the upcoming launch of Nintendo Switch – OLED Model, we decided that now was the appropriate time to change the European trade price of Nintendo Switch.” reads the statement.
I’m no economist, but I can only assume the reason the UK/Europe gets a price cut while the U.S. doesn’t simply has to do with the difference in markets. The numbers may show little reason to drop the price here yet while Europe’s suggest otherwise. Or the company has another reason entirely because Nintendo. If you’re an American gamer still holding out on a price cut before finally taking the plunge on a Switch, you’ll just have to be patient a while longer.