Switch manufacturing costs could be to blame for software price disparity

The additional costs of manufacturing a Switch game cartridge over a PS4 or Xbox One disc could see multiplatform releases costing more on Nintendo’s machine.

Eurogamer reports that two titles – Rime and Puyo Puyo Tetris – cost more on Switch than they do on other platforms. In the former case gamers are looking at 39.99 versus 29.99, and the latter 34.99 versus 24.99.

Rime developer Tequila Works previously said that its price based on the costs of development and publishing for each specific platform”. Some just presumed that the real reason was that new Switch owners would be more desperate for games and willing to pay more, but it looks as if there is a genuine cost disparity between Switch carts and discs.

Furthermore, Eurogamer says that bigger games will require more expensive cartridges, with Switch carts varying in size from 1GB to 32GB. Although the price will decline as manufacturing volumes increase, this poses a potentially bigger problem for smaller indie games, which typically would releases in lower volumes.

It also theoretically incentivises developers to include less content in a Switch release to reduce the size of cart they need to produce, although optimisation could be a way to get around this particular hurdle.

It is also claimed that Nintendo’s official policy is that games cost the same across the High Street and eShop, so any additional costs incurred in making a physical version will be carried over to a game’s digital price. Again, the incentive may be to skip physical releases altogether.

Physical and digital price parity is still pretty common at launch across all platforms, but seems to be relaxed after release. It remains to be seen whether Nintendo will follow a similar pattern, although it’s fair to say that, in general, eShop prices are quite high and tend to stay fairly high.

It was revealed earlier this month that Switch games are deliberately designed to taste rank.

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