Nintendo Switch is a runaway freight train, seeing impressive success several years into its cycle. As you may be aware, the company recently announced a revised hardware model, the Nintendo Switch OLED, but despite including a better screen – similar to that employed by the PS Vita almost a decade ago – it’s leveraging the same internals as its predecessor and priced at a $50 premium.
Analysts believe that, at this mature stage in the machine’s lifespan, the OLED is only adding around $10 to production costs, meaning that Nintendo is pocketing the difference. It’s a seismic change for the industry, which has generally seen hardware costs come down as a console ages. We witnessed a similar story with the PlayStation 4, where the PS4 Pro actually kept the base cost of Sony’s last-gen console quite high – although the rebooted box obviously did boast beefier hardware.
According to The Japan Times (subscription), as reported by Nintendo Life, the PlayStation maker is “closely monitoring” the Nintendo Switch OLED, with Ace Research Institute analyst Hideki Yasuda noting that the handheld “could set a precedent for charging more across the industry”. Sony, of course, hasn’t been able to keep PS5 stock on shelves since launch last year, suggesting it could have gotten away with a higher price point.
Obviously, it’s still to be determined how the Nintendo Switch OLED will perform: our colleagues at Nintendo Life note that the reaction from consumers has been mixed, and shares in the manufacturer are down “roughly five per cent” since its reveal. But you can never count out the Japanese firm, and we wouldn’t be surprised if this new model kept its hybrid system healthy for years to come.