Gaming

How Much Does a Nintendo Switch Cost?

The Nintendo Switch is a popular choice among gamers for various reasons. Not only does it offer a wide selection of great games like “Animal Crossing,” but it is also considered a more budget-friendly option compared to consoles such as the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.

The System Itself

Nintendo Switch
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The standard Nintendo Switch hybrid gaming system is priced at $300 and rarely goes on sale, even during events like Cyber Monday or Black Friday. On the rare occasions when there is a special promotion, it usually includes a free game like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe bundled with the full-price system, or occasionally a $25 Nintendo eShop credit.

On the other hand, the Nintendo Switch Lite is available at a lower price of $200. This version does not include the peripherals that come with the standard Nintendo Switch. Since it is designed exclusively for handheld play, there is no need for a dock, Joy-Con controllers, or a Joy-Con grip. If you plan to use the system solely as a handheld device, the Nintendo Switch Lite offers a more cost-effective option.

Memory Cards

Nintendo Switch Memory Card
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Both versions of the Nintendo Switch come with only 32GB of internal storage. However, a significant portion of this space is occupied by the console’s operating system. If you choose to download games or additional content, the file sizes can quickly use up the available storage. Therefore, purchasing a memory card is essential.

The Nintendo Switch supports MicroSDHC and MicroSDXC cards, with the latter offering higher storage capacity. The price of these cards has dropped over the years, and you can now purchase a 256GB card for only $35. This amount of storage should be sufficient for the system, but you can opt for higher capacities if desired. It’s worth noting that unlike other consoles, transferring data between storage devices on the Nintendo Switch is not as straightforward.

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Protection

Nintendo Switch Screen Protector
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Unlike most modern phones and tablets, the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite do not have a glass screen. Instead, they have a layer of plastic that is meant to prevent cracking and more severe damage. However, this plastic layer is prone to scratches. To protect the screen, it is recommended to use a screen protector, either made of plastic or glass. These protectors are available for less than $10 online and often come with multiple protectors in case of any mishaps during application. If you prefer a glass protector, it is advisable to purchase it in person to avoid potential damage during shipping.

Carrying Case and Stand

Nintendo Switch Carrying Case
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Even if you own the handheld-only Nintendo Switch Lite, a carrying case is necessary to protect the system from scuffs and cracks while transporting it. A standard Nintendo Switch carrying case costs around $20 and provides space for the system with attached Joy-Con controllers, as well as a selection of physical games. This option is suitable if you’re commuting and don’t need all of your accessories.

For those who require additional storage for their dock, controller, and other accessories, “travel” cases offer compartments and cost approximately $40. These cases ensure that everything remains secure despite the extra space inside.

The Switch Lite is smaller, and as a result, most accessories designed for the standard Switch will not fit. However, several companies have developed various options for Switch Lite, usually priced similarly to the larger cases.

Additionally, it is recommended to use a tabletop stand for your system. The default kickstand on the larger Nintendo Switch is flimsy and can cause the system to tip over. For a more stable solution, dedicated stands from brands like Hori can be purchased for approximately $10 to $15. If you require USB capability, slightly more expensive options are available.

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Controllers

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
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The standard Nintendo Switch comes with two Joy-Con controllers and a Joy-Con grip that can be used to mimic a traditional gamepad. However, this may not be an ideal solution for everyone. To play games using a more standard controller, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is available for around $70. The Pro Controller features larger sticks and buttons compared to the Joy-Cons, as well as a standard directional pad.

If you plan to play multiplayer games like Super Mario Party, each player will require their own Joy-Con controller. A pack of two Joy-Con controllers costs $80. For those who wish to play with the Switch Lite in tabletop mode, four Joy-Con controllers would be needed, totaling $160.

Games

Nintendo Switch Games
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Once you have your system and accessories, it’s time to purchase the games you desire. Retail games for the Nintendo Switch typically cost $60, with some titles available at lower prices. Additionally, you can find less expensive games on the Nintendo eShop, and certain retailers like Walmart often offer new games at around $50.

One notable difference between Nintendo’s games and those for the PS4 and Xbox One is that Nintendo’s game prices tend to remain unchanged for a longer period. It may take years for the price of a game to decrease, and even during Black Friday, there are usually not many discounts available for Nintendo games. However, Nintendo does occasionally run sales on its eShop, although it is rare to find major games released within the last year included in these sales.

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Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online
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To access online multiplayer gaming, a subscription fee is required for Nintendo Switch Online. Priced at $20 per year, it is more affordable compared to Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus, which both cost around $60 annually. The subscription not only enables online multiplayer, but also allows you to back up save data to the cloud and grants access to a library of NES and SNES titles that offer online multiplayer and other additional features.

What Is the Total Cost?

When calculating the total cost of owning a Nintendo Switch, it becomes clear that the expenses go beyond the initial $200 or $300 price of the console.

For the standard Nintendo Switch, including a 256GB MicroSDXC card, carrying case, screen protector, Pro Controller, two extra Joy-Con controllers, Nintendo Switch Online subscription, and stand, the total cost would be approximately $550 before purchasing any games.

For the Switch Lite, including four Joy-Con controllers, a 256GB MicroSDXC card, a Pro Controller, Nintendo Switch Online subscription, case, screen protector, and stand, the total cost would be approximately $525 before buying any games.

It’s important to consider these additional costs when deciding to purchase a Nintendo Switch.

OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

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