Top-flight titles go a long way in selling consoles, with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild expected to entice gamers to purchase the upcoming Nintendo Switch while Super Mario and Sonic games prepare to launch on the system within the year.
Nintendo, however, has seemingly also opened the gates to the Nintendo Switch to independent game developers, as the price of the development kit for the hybrid console was revealed to be very cheap.
Nintendo Switch Dev Kit Only $450
At the Game Creators Conference 2017, held in Osaka, Japan, it was revealed that the development kits for the Nintendo Switch will have a price tag of only ¥50,000, which is equivalent to about $450.
The price tag for the Nintendo Switch development kit is extremely low, especially compared with development kits for other consoles. For example, development kits for Sony's PlayStation 4 are sold for about $2,500, while for the failed predecessor of the Nintendo Switch, the Nintendo Wii U, development kits carry price tags of up to $5,000. During the launch of Sony's PlayStation 3 back in 2006, development kits were being sold for an eye-popping $20,000 each.
Great News For Indie Game Developers
The very low price of $450 for the Nintendo Switch development kit, which is just a bit more expensive than the actual hybrid console which carries a price tag of $300, is great news for independent game developers, as it is very easy to jump into making titles for the Nintendo Switch.
"It's a radical departure from their earlier exclusiveness that Nintendo is releasing their dev kits at such a low price," said Vlambeer cofounder Rami Ismail.
Ismail added that with the low entry price for making games on the Nintendo Switch, it would mean that more third-party developers, including small independent studios, will have a chance of making games for a Nintendo console. Every dollar saved in developing titles goes a long way for independent studios, and for the Nintendo Switch, those saved dollars compared to purchasing development kits for other consoles are very significant.
"It's hopefully an indication of a more open platform, which would mean more opportunity for independent creators to use the unique possibilities of the Nintendo Switch," Ismail noted.
Attracting independent game developers to make games for their consoles has recently been given more focus by Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, which is understandable given the launch of many critically acclaimed titles. Nintendo is apparently already making headway into the trend with its upcoming hybrid console, as indie titles such as Shovel Knight, The Binding of Isaac, Snipperclips, Yooka-Laylee, Stardew Valley, Rime, and many others have already been revealed to be coming to the Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo Switch Leaks
As the March 3 global launch date of the Nintendo Switch draws near, leaks have been popping up regarding the hybrid console.
A lucky gamer was said to have received a Nintendo Switch two weeks early, revealing the user interface of the hybrid console and the 25.9 GB of free space that users will have on the system. Right after that, a new video was then uploaded that showed the actual unboxing of the Nintendo Switch, confirming the contents of the box and the leaked user interface.