Why Do Nintendo Switch Games Continue Being So Expensive?

Gemma Cockrell

‘Why are the games so expensive?’ is a question that every Nintendo Switch owner has asked themselves at least once, with the average game costing around £40. Gemma Cockrell explores why this is and whether it will ever change.

With most consoles, the value of the games deteriorates over time. For example, with Xbox and Playstation, most games can be bought for a reduced price if you wait for about a year or so after their initial release. However, this just doesn’t happen with Nintendo games. Animal Crossing New Horizons, arguably one of the most popular Switch games, still retails at £39, despite being released well over a year ago in March 2020.

Even pre-owned Switch games cost the same as brand new ones.

I remember back in the day, when I owned a Nintendo DS in the early 2010s, I owned a huge pile of games. I had to double-check this with my parents (since I was only about ten years old at the time) but they recalled paying a maximum of £25 per game. This value decreased over time, and you could also buy pre-owned games for much less than the retail price. However, on GAME’s website, even pre-owned Switch games cost the same as brand new ones.

white nintendo game boy on white table

This means that, now, in the era of the Switch, I can only afford to own a few games because the price never seems to decrease. But Nintendo is aware that the games they offer are exclusive and unique and aren’t available on other consoles. So, they receive no pressure from other companies to reduce their prices to maintain popularity. They’re popular because people want their games, so players have to accept the high prices since there’s no alternative way of getting them.

Basically, Nintendo can do whatever they want, and they get away with it. Because people still buy their consoles and games. Well, in 2021 they do anyway – this strategy didn’t work quite as well in the Wii U era, which was undeniably a bit of a flop. But the Nintendo Switch is a much-loved console, and as long as the console sells, then the games will inevitably follow suit.

Nintendo know that they can get away with it.

As consumers, even though we frequently complain about it, we are still paying these (very expensive) prices for games that have been out for months. To keep people interested, many game developers have to lower their prices, but Nintendo doesn’t need to do this to remain relevant and popular. So, they don’t need to drop their prices. They know that they can get away with it.

Therefore, it seems unlikely that this will ever change. Instead, it seems to be something we simply must accept. Much to my bank account’s dismay.

Gemma Cockrell

Featured image courtesy of Manny Moreno via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

In-article image 1 courtesy of Denise Jans via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

In-article video 1 courtesy of @QuikReviews via No changes were made to this video.

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