The Nintendo Switch is consistently ranked as one of the best and most popular gaming consoles. After all, it’s comparatively affordable, kid-friendly, and offers diverse play opportunities. But games for this console can be pricey, begging the question, “Why are Switch games so expensive?”
Nintendo Switch games are expensive because they’re in high demand. Contrary to popular belief, most Switch users are young adults, and this group is capable of investing in brand-new Switch games. As such, game pre-sales and online hype tend to increase demand, increasing each game’s final price.
This guide will explore why Nintendo Switch games are so expensive. We’ll also discuss why the average price for Switch games isn’t likely to drop soon. If you’re looking to build your Switch game collection, the information below could help you start budgeting for some new titles.
Here Are the Top 10 Reasons Why Switch Games Are Expensive:
- There’s a high demand for Nintendo Switch games
- Children aren’t the primary users of the Nintendo Switch
- Many games are an integral part of pop culture
- Game pre-sales boost game prices
- Collector’s edition versions of games are popular
- Many players prefer to own physical game copies
- Nintendo has several successful game franchises
- Many Switch games are exclusive to the console
- Switch games are playable in diverse ways
- The Nintendo Switch is an affordable console
10. The Nintendo Switch Is an Affordable Console
Unlike the world’s most expensive gaming mouses, the Nintendo Switch is relatively affordable. Sure, a new Switch will cost you between $200 and $350, depending on the precise model. But this is still several hundred dollars less than the latest Playstation or Xbox consoles.
This affordability makes the Nintendo Switch one of the most accessible gaming platforms. After all, a top-notch gaming desktop or laptop could easily set you back more than $1,000. But a Switch only costs a fraction of that price!
This increased accessibility allows more people to buy a Nintendo Switch. And more players means more people interested in buying games.
You might think this relationship would result in lower-priced games. But you’d be unfortunately mistaken.
Think about it like this—Nintendo is willing to sell its gaming console for far less than its competitors. But to get the most out of that console, you’ll need to buy games.
Nintendo can sell its games at an average price of $60 per title. Players can’t use their consoles without having games to play on them.
The travel-friendly nature of the Nintendo Switch also increases the console’s popularity. This boosted popularity might also contribute to the high cost of Switch games.
9. Switch Games Are Playable in Diverse Ways
Most people who play video games are forced to choose a specific console and play style. For example, some players prefer to play PC games using their keyboard and mouse.
Others prefer separate consoles (Playstation and Xbox). These game consoles connect to televisions and feature handheld controllers.
The Nintendo Switch offers more options, making it a popular alternative to TV-based consoles and gaming PCs. Players can enjoy their games via the Switch console screen, or they can connect the Switch console to a nearby TV for a larger viewing screen.
The increased number of ways to play has boosted the console’s popularity and compatibility. The increased popularity has resulted in higher demand for the Nintendo Switch and its games. And increased demand often means higher game prices.
8. Many Switch Games Are Exclusive to the Console
If you’re looking to play the latest Super Mario or The Legend of Zelda game, you’ll need a Nintendo Switch. That’s because these franchises are owned by Nintendo, meaning that they’re exclusive to the brand.
The same is true of many other games, including Splatoon 2, Luigi’s Mansion 3, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses. You can’t play these games on different platforms (like Playstation, Xbox, or PC). As a result, Nintendo has free reign to charge whatever they’d like.
This exclusivity wouldn’t be a big issue if these franchises weren’t incredibly popular. But some of the widely celebrated and played games are titles from Nintendo franchises.
7. Nintendo Has Several Successful Game Franchises
Nintendo has a small army of video game franchises that consistently rake in millions in sales each year. Examples include the Super Mario series, The Legend of Zelda franchise, and the Pokémon series.
Notably, several titles from these properties have become the most expensive video games ever sold!
These franchises are specific to Nintendo. So, other gaming companies cannot release games featuring Nintendo franchise characters or stories. As such, Nintendo has zero competition for some of the world’s most popular and long-lasting game franchises.
How does this lack of competition affect game prices? Well, when you’ve monopolized a considerable portion of the gamer market, you can charge almost anything you’d like for your games.
Most players are willing to pay higher-than-average prices to enjoy the next title of their favorite franchise. And if that game comes in a collector’s edition version, you can bet that diehard fans will spend far more.
6. Many Players Prefer to Own Physical Game Copies
Though the Nintendo Switch online store has infrequent sales, purchasing digital versions of Switch games is often more affordable than buying physical game copies. However, many players prefer to own physical copies of their games, so they’re willing to spend more.
Besides, the internal storage of a Nintendo Switch isn’t infinite. The average player can only fit about ten digital titles on their console, meaning that most players will eventually need to purchase physical copies of their favorite games.
Passionate fans might even be willing to drop several hundred dollars on a single Switch game, especially if the physical copy is a collector’s edition version.
5. Collector’s Edition Versions of Games Are Popular
Like expensive Hermès Birkin bags, collector’s editions of Switch games sell out quickly and can be challenging to acquire. These special game versions typically come in unique themed containers and include limited edition action figures, posters, or other goodies.
These uniquely designed physical copies might initially only cost between $20 and $40 more than the game’s standard version. However, when stores run out of collector’s editions of a particular Switch game, prices immediately skyrocket.
At that point, the only way to get your hands on a collector’s edition of your favorite Switch title is to purchase from a private seller. But demand for some games remains high (or increases) over time. As a result, some players could spend hundreds of dollars to own a collector’s edition version of a Switch game.
Many players prefer to pre-order Nintendo Switch titles to avoid this issue. But pre-release orders can also result in overall price increases.
4. Game Pre-Sales Boost Game Prices
The Nintendo company is more than 100 years old. So they’ve had decades to perfect their product lineup and marketing techniques. One of the most successful of the company’s strategies is announcing upcoming titles and offering game pre-sales.
This marketing technique is straightforward and effective. First, the company announces its upcoming titles. This group of new games typically contains at least one ‘top seller’ belonging to a beloved Nintendo franchise.
This practice generates excitement among the player base, especially as time progresses. As the release date for hyped titles grows closer, more players look up gameplay trailers and begin budgeting for the new release.
But then Nintendo does something brilliant—they offer shoppers the chance to buy the unreleased games they’ve had their eye on for a slightly discounted price. After all, failing to pre-order a highly anticipated game might mean that your local stores sell out of physical copies within hours of its release.
Allowing customers can pre-order titles guarantees that they’ll have a copy on the first day it’s available. Besides, pre-orders are often slightly less costly (between $5 and $20 less) than newly released games. This option generates insane pre-release sales.
These pre-orders are an excellent tool for Nintendo executives, as it allows them to gauge demand and determine game prices. The higher the volume of pre-sale orders, the higher the demand and the more executives can charge for new titles.
3. Many Games Are an Integral Part of Pop Culture
Failing to own the latest Nintendo Switch game could make you a social pariah. After all, Switch titles often become an integral part of popular culture, appearing as memes or lengthy Reddit discussions.
The 2020 release Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a top-notch example. This Switch game was released during the initial pandemic lockdowns in the United States. It soon became a form of social interaction and mental relaxation for millions of people around the globe.
The game became popular enough to feature as part of a Saturday Night Live sketch in May 2020. In addition, it inspired a slew of memes that made appearances on various social media platforms and became one of the most popular topics of conversation among young adults for several months.
Many of the people who purchased this title were probably eager to join in on the hype and participate, even if they weren’t fans of the franchise. This theory becomes more viable when you consider that young adults make up the majority of the player base for the Nintendo Switch.
2. Children Aren’t the Primary Users of the Nintendo Switch
Though millions of children and adolescents own and play Nintendo Switch consoles, kids don’t make up the largest demographic of Switch players. Instead, that honor goes to teens and young adults.
Consequently, the most significant player base for the Nintendo Switch primarily consists of individuals who have a source of income and plenty of free time. This allows Nintendo to increase its game prices, as young adults are often willing to spend their money on entertainment items, including video games.
If children were the primary users of this game console, Nintendo might lower prices slightly to make it easier for younger players to convince their parents to purchase games on their behalf. But so long as young adults and adults continue to enjoy the Nintendo Switch, game prices are likely to either remain consistent or increase.
It’s also worth mentioning that Nintendo tends to release games belonging to franchises that young adults are familiar with. Nintendo utilizes nostalgia-based demand for the latest Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or Animal Crossing game to drive sales. As any economist will tell you, higher demand almost always translates to higher prices.
1. There’s a High Demand for Nintendo Switch Games
Demand is the top reason why Switch games are so expensive. But what is demand, and how does it affect an item’s price?
In terms of economics, demand refers to the number of buyers interested in purchasing a specific item. Some items enjoy non-elastic demand that remains high at all times, while others experience fluctuating demand.
For example, there will always be a high demand for food and clean drinking water, as humans need those things to survive. However, demand for non-essential items like rubber ducks fluctuates over time, reflecting the overall interest of shoppers.
While people don’t need Nintendo Switch games to survive, the demand for Switch titles remains consistently high. After all, Nintendo has sold more than 100 million of these game consoles.
So, when Nintendo releases information about upcoming game releases (especially those popular among their user base), the demand for those games immediately skyrockets. It continues to increase as the release date grows closer.
By the time an awaited game hits the store shelves or digital marketplace, millions of Switch users have already spent an average of $50 or more to own that new title. This was the case with Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which sold more than 37 million copies during its first two years of its release.
The Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X and S continue to remain in low supply (and feature $500+ prices). So, it’s likely that the demand for the Nintendo Switch console and its library of games will continue to increase, thus keeping game costs stable.
Why Are Switch Games So Expensive?
So, why are Switch games so expensive? While several factors contribute to the relatively high price of Nintendo Switch games, the primary reason they’re so pricey might be demand.
After all, the most significant demographic of Nintendo Switch players are young adults. This group has the financial resources to purchase their favorite Switch games, especially new titles. These games then enter pop culture via memes and online discussions, increasing consumer demand for the games.
Are you interested in learning more about the world’s most expensive items? If so, check out these related articles now!