Thursday, January 12, 2017

Crazy Caffeinated Predictions - Nintendo Switch for $199.99 and launch games!

Coffee Beans
We are less than an hour away from learning all about the Nintendo Switch and its planned release! What Nintendo first party games will be available day one? What third party games will be available? But, most importantly I believe, what will its price be?

I have been making posts around different places (Twitter and reddit mainly), about what I hope the Switch's price will be, and why I think it's important.

How much do I think the Nintendo Switch will be at launch? Brew yourself some coffee, and let's take a look at that and some more of my crazy, caffeinated, predictions!

Caffeinated Thoughts (I finished a Venti Starbucks Doubleshot on Ice about an hour before I started this):
Some of the below is a direct copy/paste of a comment I made on reddit a few days ago, with some edits.

Nintendo is not releasing the Switch in a vacuum. Nintendo already dominates the portable video game market with dedicated hardware via the 3DS (though odd note: The 3DS is absent from all stores at the moment in my area, and can't be ordered directly from major websites.). Sony and Microsoft are winning the home console race, specifically Sony.

How does Nintendo plan to appeal to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One owners, and even their own 3DS owners, at $300? I don't think they will.

Nintendo will probably get a good percentage of Zelda fans buying the Switch day one that skipped the Wii U, but that number is below 10 million.
Nintendo will have about two million Switch units ready for its worldwide launch. One latest rumor is they are now aiming for 2.5 million to be available, if that rumor turns out to be correct.

How does Nintendo make the Switch appealing, and continue to keep the Switch flying off shelves? I believe price is extremely important. I think they need to make it $100 less than the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and advertise and market it like crazy. I'm not talking crazy like the Wii U launch ads in the U.S., those were crazy horrible.

What helped the Wii win its console generation? Price. It was $150 less than the best Xbox 360 bundle, and $250 below the cheapest PS3 bundle at launch. It was the lowest priced home console.

The Wii was the lowest priced console, included Wii Sports bundled in at that price, and Nintendo couldn't keep the Wii on store shelves for 2+ years?

Sony had major issues with pricing at launch, and Microsoft had hardware issues (RROD).

Nintendo does not want the Switch to be a Wii U in terms of sales, and probably not even a GameCube (though, it was better than the Wii U). Nintendo probably wants the Switch to be a Wii in terms of sales, at least I would think.

Is Nintendo releasing something less powerful than the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but pricing it at the Xbox One level of $299.99? I don't think they will.

Tablets are as cheap as a few bags of dirt these days. I paid $33 for an Amazon Kindle for one of our sons for Christmas. It plays games. It does YouTube. It does apps. Amazon is dominating the sub-$100 tablet market. Apple is dominating the higher end tablet market.

People that own those tablets can do Pokemon Go already, and iPad/iPhone owners now have Super Mario Run with that being released on Android later.

If Nintendo thinks that Mario will save them, or even Zelda, I think they need to simply look at the Wii U. The Wii U had some awesome Mario games (Super Mario 3D World is fantastic, and I recommend it highly, just finished a level in it before typing this), but those games didn't do a thing to help keep the Wii U from failing.

The Wii U had Hyrule Warriors, Wind Waker, and Twilight Princess (and are we still assuming BotW?). It didn't help the system's performance.

If Nintendo fails the Switch at launch, it's a hard road to recovery, like what happened with the Wii U.

I think the Switch needs to be under $200 for major success and for it not to end up like Wii U, but maybe Nintendo will try $250 for launch to get all the hardcore fans' extra cash early, then drop it to $200 for the holidays? Maybe the Switch will be more powerful than the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One combined with Duck Tape, and Nintendo will say they are going for the higher end market to justify a higher price? Maybe, but I don't think so.

Where am I getting the sub-$200 price idea from? First, a rumor from 2015. You can read it here:

Second, Nintendo's partnership with Nvidia and Nvidia's own Shield Tablets that have released on the market since 2013.
When was the last Nvidia Shield tablet released? November 2015.
What was it priced? $200.

The Nvidia Shield K1 has an 8", 1080p screen. The Nintendo Switch? 6, 720p screen.
The Nvidia Shield K1 did not include a controller, but I am assuming the Nintendo Switch will include the Joy-Cons, and of course the docking station, in a base bundle.

Sony dominated the PS2 era, and they controlled pricing. Nintendo better not forget that. It didn't matter the GameCube was $100 less at launch, because Sony dropped the PlayStation 2 down to $199.99 about six months after the GameCube released, and that basically sealed the deal for Sony winning that generation.
Will Nintendo really gamble and release the Switch at the same price as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One? I don't see how that is a recipe for success, even if they have exclusive games and big exclusive third party titles.
I think they need to "hit the ground running" with the Switch, and not stop.

Resident Evil 4, and all those Capcom deals on the GameCube. Didn't matter.

Price is important. What did one Sony representative say happened when Microsoft announced the price of the Xbox One? Something like Sony representatives were running up and down the aisles celebrating, because the PS4 would be $100 cheaper?

Who is dominating, and has been? Sony. Do we even know Microsoft's Xbox One sales numbers? (Honest question, I looked and didn't find them.) Sony's $100 price difference and sales of the PS4 basically forced Microsoft to abandon the Kinect, to get the price down quickly.

I don't think $250 for the Switch + costs of a game is a smart move, but I am glad to be proven wrong. If the Switch is priced at $249.99, it makes it $300+, just like the PS4 and Xbox One, when you buy The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One had console bundles that were discounted down to $250 during the holidays.

I do think The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be a launch day title for the Switch, just like Twilight Princess was on the Wii. I also think Nintendo may delay the Wii U version, to make the Switch a more attractive buy to the hardcore Zelda fans that want it day one.
Some people were saying they heard Breath of the Wild might not be ready for March, and when I heard that, I tweeted out that if Zelda wasn't ready, maybe the system wasn't ready. I think Breath of the Wild is a must for the Switch's launch.

The rumor I posted above from 2015 said Diddy Kong Racing 2 was in the works for Nintendo's console that was to be released in 2016 (so, I assume it is the Switch), and I think having another racing title at launch like Diddy Kong Racing would be awesome, but I'm almost thinking that maybe Nintendo is going to morph what was Diddy Kong Racing 2, into Mario Kart for the Switch.

They could be putting all the Donkey Kong/Diddy Kong levels in the game, and put Diddy Kong in it as well. I could be wrong, but I'm excited to see if there was any validity behind the Diddy Kong Racing rumor.

Nintendo has been working with Japanese developers a lot more closely the last few years. They made a great deal with PlatinumGames in getting Bayonetta 2 (and the original) released on the Wii U, as well as The Wonderful 101. PlatinumGames also helped Nintendo in the development of Star Fox for the Wii U.

I'm thinking that there will be a PlatinumGames title for the Switch's launch, and I think it will be Vanquish 2, probably with the original Vanquish included just like they did with the Bayonetta series on the Wii U.

Quick Crazy Caffeinated Nintendo Switch Predictions:
Price - $199.99, in some fashion. Base bundle at the very least, with no game.
1) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, launch day release.
2) Vanquish 2, with the original included, launch day release.
3) Diddy Kong Racing 2, launch day release, or massive Mario Kart 8 update with Diddy Kong and tons of new levels.
4) Craziest of the crazy predictions. Nintendo will announce the Nintendo 3DS is no longer being produced, and the Nintendo Switch will be their only video game console in production so they can concentrate on one system.
5) Eternal Darkness is announced for the Switch.
6) Metroid is teased, but no official release date. Just a teaser trailer.
7) Endless Ocean is getting the HD treatment, with both the Wii titles being ported to the Switch.

Am I crazy for hoping and thinking it will be under $200? We will find out in about 25 minutes!

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