Nintendo Switch gets price cut in Europe — could U.S. soon follow?

A child is playing Nintendo Switch while standing.
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More than four years after launch, the Nintendo Switch is finally getting a price cut — well, in Europe at least. 

This news comes from Nintendo Life, which found that Nintendo had lowered the MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price) of the Switch from €329.99 to €269.99. In U.S. dollars, that's a drop from $389 to $319.

A $70 drop is not insignificant, although European prices were already much higher than the Nintendo Switch's current U.S. MSRP of $299. U.K prices are seeing a drop as well, from £279.99 to £259.99, or from $387 to $359. 

The price drops are currently live on the Nintendo U.K. storefront. At the moment, the Nintendo Switch Lite is not seeing a price cut.

The Wii was cheaper by this point

Nintendo's last major best-selling console was the Wii, released in 2006 at $249 U.S. Even while that system was still flying off shelves, it saw its first price cut , to $199, only three years into its life cycle. By 2011, the Wii was down to $149, a full $100 off the original price. 

For comparison's sake, the PS4, one of the highest selling consoles of all time, saw its first price cut only two years into its lifecycle, going from $399 in 2013 to $349 in 2015. A slim model was introduced a year afterwards, bringing the MSRP down to $299

Suffice it to say, Nintendo has not been in a rush to lower the price of the Nintendo Switch. At the moment, the Switch has sold 89 million units, a tremendous milestone for a system that's only four years old. 

Nintendo's profits are down

Yet NIntendo's profits on the Switch are down in 2021 when compared to the same point in 2020. Granted, the global pandemic pushed many people indoors to discover a newfound appetite for gaming. 

At the moment, there's no indication whether Nintendo will lower the price of the Switch in the U.S., even with the Nintendo Switch OLED model coming out next month at $350. 

"They customarily cut price globally, so likely one in the U.S. will follow," said Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, in an email inquiry with Tom's Guide. 

Considering the Switch sold 28.8 million units in 2020, a 37% increase from 2019, this would suggest there's very little incentive for Nintendo to drop the price. Do note, these unit sales also include the Switch Lite. 

A price cut could indicate Nintendo is wanting to keep units flowing to be somewhat close to 2020 sales numbers. 

"[I] thought the price staying at launch price suggested strong demand, but maybe it’s beginning to soften a bit," said Pachter. 

At the moment, the Nintendo Switch OLED will sell for €364.99 in Europe. Between the OLED, standard and Lite Switches, the pricing structure would be €364, €269 and €239. 

It's an odd pricing breakdown, especially considering that the panels found on the OLED model are not much more expensive than the other two models' LCD screens, as Samsung cut Nintendo a deal for rigid OLED displays. 

Yet Pachter feels that by next year, in the U.S. at least, the Switch family could see a clean $300, $250, $200 pricing structure.

Imad Khan

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.