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Nintendo Switch Game Cards Are Way Pricier Than Other Consoles’ Disks, But There's An Explanation For That

14 March 2017, 7:01 pm EDT By Vincent Lanaria Tech Times
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Super Mario Odyssey gameplay trailer | Nintendo Switch

Ever wondered why Nintendo Switch game cards are pricier than the rest? No, it's not because of their "flavor," which caused the internet to start licking and giving them a taste.

It's simple, really: They're just more expensive to make.

Switch Game Cards Are Not As Cheap As Disks

The short answer to the whole conundrum comes from Eurogamer, and to reiterate, Switch game cards are simply more costly to produce than the disks used for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

These cartridges that Nintendo is using greatly vary in size, ranging from 1 GB, 2 GB, and 4 GB to 8 GB, 16 GB, and 32 GB. This goes without saying, but the larger the capacity, the pricier it gets.

All this started with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which hit the shelves with a $59.99 price tag slapped on it. Meanwhile, the $49.99 cost of Super Bomberman R piled on it, and it probably got the people thinking why the games are making enemies out of everybody's budgets.

Sure, those two got everyone curious, but what apparently kicked off Eurogamer's investigative work is RiME, a puzzle adventure game by Tequila Works that costs $29.99 on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC but $39.99 on the Switch — a $10 premium of sorts.

Even though Switch gamers are still stuck with the pricing, the publisher Grey Box did have an explanation about it.

"We set prices for our products based on the costs of development and publishing for each specific platform," the company said (courtesy of IGN).

Delving deeper, Eurogamer got in touch with Tequila Works and received this as a response:

"We cannot enter in any specifics, but we can assure you Rime's price is based on the costs of development and costs of manufacturing for each specific platform."

That more or less backs up the news outlet's speculations in terms of Switch game cards having higher manufacturing costs.

Physical Games vs. Digital Copies: Why The eShop Doesn't Offer Cheaper Prices

If the higher price is mainly attributed to the production of the Switch game cards themselves, then shouldn't the digital versions at the eShop be sold at a lower cost? It's not that easy, though.

The physical and digital variants of a game should have the same price because if they don't, then there's little reason for consumers to opt for the cartridges, except perhaps to have a tangible copy or to save space on their microSD cards.

Also, that means developers and publishers will have to choose between two options: release a download-only title at a more affordable price or launch both physical and digital copies of a title at a higher price point.

As an example of the first option, Eurogamer points out that Sumo Digital's Snake Pass costs the same at $19.99 across platforms because it's digital only.

Long story short, that's why Nintendo's game cards are more expensive than disks, and anything bucking the trend is nowhere in sight just yet, as physical games are far from ending.

With all said and done, what do you think of the pricing trend of Switch games? Feel free to hit us up in the comments section below and let us know.

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