UK retail optimistic about Switch, but divided on its price

The Nintendo Switch has been priced and dated, and though games retail is positive about the machine itself and its first year line-up, the £280 price-point has proved divisive. 

Speaking to MCV, execs at UK stores point to a premium feel and build for Nintendo’s new machine, and praise its release slate for its first year. And while they say that the price point of £280 is higher than expected, they doubt it is going to harm its prospects on launch.  

“Although the Day One slate is thin, the titles to come over the quarter should make up for this,” said Robert Lindsay, the managing director of Scottish indie chain Games Centre. 

“The price point is a little higher than expected, although I don’t see this affecting sales on launch. Further down the line this will need to come down if they are to attract the masses.”

The concerns about Switch’s price point are echoed by GameSeek managing director Stephen Staley. In fact, he was so convinced Nintendo’s new machine would come in at below £200 that he put this as the pre-order price for the new console. 

“It’s really exciting – we are all looking forward to the launch of the Nintendo Switch here at GameSeek and not only myself but many staff members will be purchasing one. We all grew up playing Nintendo and eagerly look forward to playing this latest console,” he said.

“Sadly, though, I believe the price is too expensive. It should have been £199.99. Nintendo had an amazing chance here to get off to a great start but I think £279 is too high. 

“When we priced the Switch on our website for pre-order we did so at £198.50. We sold nearly a thousand units. Good news to our customers though, for everyone that pre-ordered it at £198.50 we are going to honour all orders quite simply because I am extremely passionate about the video game industry and believe the customers deserved this at the £200 mark.”

However, The Hut Group games and tech boss Mike Fethers is convinced by the Switch’s hardware, as well as its launch line-up. 

“I’m really excited by what I’ve seen,” Fethers told MCV. “Nintendo and its partners have gone for quality over quantity for its announcements. It’s a Day One purchase for me. It justifies its price point through the portable element. Everything feels great in the hand and you know a lot of effort has gone into it.”

Dan Long of merchandise firm Insert Coin was also widely positive: “It’s always exciting when new hardware is announced but I think Nintendo have pitched the Switch very well,” he said.

“It was so important to deliver something distinct, innovative and unique, and they’ve definitely hooked into the things that gamers want from their next Nintendo experience. Sensibly priced and armed with a solid range of titles to support it too, this is definitely a launch to get excited about.”

You can read more about the Switch in this week’s MCV. 

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