Pachter: Nintendo Switch price is ‘problematic’ and launch line-up is ‘underwhelming’

Video games analyst Michael Pachter echoes the industry’s reaction to the Nintendo Switch, with concerns regarding its price point and launch line-up.

The Wedbush analyst believes the console is too expensive considering it’ll have only five games ready at launch and a lack of bundled titles.

"Priced at $300, Switch is not a more affordable alternative to the PS4 and Xbox One,” Pachter said, as reported by VideoGamer. Initial pricing is likely to be problematic given an underwhelming slate at launch and the fact that the PS4 and Xbox One are consistently discounted at retail below their starting prices of $300 with a free software pack-in.”

He continued: "While Nintendo clearly relies upon the unique gameplay offered by the new device, it will need to convince a large audience that its newest device is more substance than gimmick in order to drive better long-term adoption than the Wii U saw."

Coming back to an issue he raised as far back as 2015, when the console was only known as the NX, he repeated that third-party support will be key to the Switch success – and said support doesn’t look very promising, he believes:

"Sales beyond the first year will be affected by third party software support; the underpowered Switch is unlikely to attract much," he continued.

"A solid first-party release slate is promising, but limited third party support will likely limit hardware demand later in the year. Zelda, Mario, and Splatoon titles are expected in 2017, but only a handful of new games are expected at launch. The cost of accessories is surprisingly high, and Western third-party support appears limited to ports of Xbox 360 and PS3 games. We think that hardware sales will be limited without substantially greater third party support.

"Should Switch start slowly, we expect third-party publisher support to begin to wane as it did with the Wii U previously. Among the notable games, EA announced that FIFA 17 will be launching later this year, and Bethesda Softworks’ The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim will be available at some point. We expect many publishers to take a wait-and-see approach in terms of their financial commitment beyond the first one or two games, especially if porting costs are high."

Pachter predicts that the Switch will sell one million units in financial year 2017 (ending March 31st 2017) and five million by the end of financial year 2018. Nintendo previously stated it will ship two millions units on the console’s first month.

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