Nintendo Switch: The Cost of Portability

The Nintendo Switch is a great console with a surprising amount of power for a handheld, so it’s not a big surprise to see larger titles coming over to the platform. In a way, the Switch is what the Vita should have been. But since launch there has been a very noticeable trend of games becoming more expensive when ported over to the Switch. So noticeable that it’s expected of games on the platform to be more expensive than their PC, PS, or Xbox counterparts. To the point of being shocking if publishers don’t jack up the price.

That’s what’s happened with the game Earth Wars. In Japan the game is called Earth War, and on the PS4 the game is known as Earth’s Dawn. On the Ps4 Earth’s Dawn is $35 with the Switch Version at $5. This has some people paranoid about the game. Is it the full game? Is it the same game? Is it a pricing error? I don’t know but I decided to pick it up, it’s a sidescroller brawler with RPG elements. Honestly it’s the kind of game I’d buy normally so I’m not losing anything on it. Besides, for $5 it’s a steal.

Isn’t it a little funny that people are actually paranoid of a game when it’s cheaper on the Switch than any other platform? How did it get like this? Well, it started with Bomberman R, a launch title for the Switch. The game is your traditional Bomberman fare, the only new additions being a single player story, and it cost $50. I’m not one to judge a purchase as long as it brings you enjoyment, but I feel that for a game that hasn’t changed from it’s last iteration charging 3 times as much is a bit overkill.

Even huge titles like Skyrim are guilty of this. I like Skyrim, but not enough to pay $60 for a third time for a game that’s 7 years old and hasn’t had a bug fix since its first year of release. The Switch version doesn’t even have mods, so if I wanted to use the unofficial patch to fix these issues, I can’t. After that it’s how much I value the portability.

What is the cost of portability? Right now there isn’t a clear answer for that. I think as long as it’s new titles they’ll continue to be the same price as they are on other platforms. But with ports of older games we’re going to be seeing a lot of jumps in prices ranging from $10 – $30 more.

It’s kind of sad that users are already getting comfortable with price jacking on Switch games, and when a good deal is met with suspicion. Don’t get comfortable with price jacking and please be vocal about it.

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Nichole Johnson

Hello, I’m Nichole and I’m a 27 year old transgender woman. I’ve been gaming since I was 8 years old and currently have every major platform. You can find me on Xbox One, PS4, and the Nintendo Switch. I love co-op, souls-likes, roguelikes, action, and rpg games. I play a large variety of games though and I’m playing something different every week, it’d be easier to list the genres I don’t like. Despite my experience and work I consider myself more of a casual gamer because I feel the definition of hardcore gamer has changed over the past couple of years. If you want to watch me play stuff live you can find me on Twitch as QueenHellcat.


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