Today a rumor sparked on NeoGAF, based on the allegation that Nikkei claimed that the price of Nintendo’s upcoming console Switch will be 25,000 yen (About $214). Several websites, including many specializing on Nintendo news, immediately took it as confirmed news or a reliable rumor, and posted it as such.
Unfortunately, this is false: Nikkei is indeed reliable when it actually claims something, being the online arm of the Nikkei Shinbun, one of Japan’s most prominent newspapers. Yet, they made no claim whatsoever to have any firm awareness of the Switch’s price point.
The rumor is based on a misinterpretation of the publicly available excerpt of Nikkei’s article, probably misunderstood due to using Google Translator or similar machine translation sources. Actually translating both the excerpt or the full piece (which is available via free registration giving access to ten full articles as month) reveals the mistake.
The article is titled “Nintendo: Focus Price 25,000 yen,” and it belongs to the “Reporter’s Eye” column, which is dedicated to speculation and analysis. It’s not news, nor a rumor. Basically, it’s just the opinion and speculation of the writer.
What the article actually says is that 25,000 yen is a price that those who are interested in Nintendo’s stock should pay attention to, arguing that it’s basically the target price point which might determine whether the console will be successful out of the gate or not.
The article cites late President Satoru Iwata, who mentioned that the success of a platform is determined by its momentum, which according to the writer depends majorly on initial sales. Editor Masashi Izawa from the Osaka Electronics Division of Nikkei feels that on January 13th, when the price will be revealed, Nintendo has a chance to hit the ground running (if the price is around or under 25,00 yen).
Izawa-san also mentions that the Super Famicom, the Nintendo 64, the Game Cube, the Wii, and the Wii U (basic) all had local selling prices of 25,000 yen. On the other hand PS4, that already had two price cuts in Japan, is priced at 29,980 yen, and many within the gaming industry also expect the Switch to be 30,000 yen.
The article also cites Nintendo President Takeshi Kimishima, who said that the console won’t be sold at a loss, and Rakuten Securities Analyst Yasuo Imanaka, who mentioned that a good price would hover around 20,000 yen, if the goal is widespread penetration in the market, since the popularity of a gaming console affects software sales on the long run. On the other hand, if the price will be above 25,000 yen, investors should be cautious.
The writer also mentions that there is still a possibility for more new features absent from the initial unveiling video to be announced on January 13th, and that there is still a chance for surprises during the upcoming presentation.
On the other hand, there are factors that make incorporating unique features a difficult proposition. Due to the increase in development costs on home consoles, third party publishers have adopted a multiplatform strategy. Even if Nintendo develops games that serve as models for game developers, this did not work well on the Wii U.
The article ends with the mention that Nintendo stocks had some rough ups and down during 2016 due to the launches of Pokémon Go and Super Mario Run, and depending on the price of the switch, they may enter another turbulent phase.
Basically, hold your horses, Nikkei made no claims on the price of the switch. They simply published a speculation piece based on the opinion and analysis of one of its editors, focusing on how investors should interpret the price of the console when it will be officially unveiled on January 13th.
This is not to mean that the price of the upcoming Nintendo Switch can’t be around the 25,000 yen range, but you won’t read it on Nikkei today, nor on any other site.
Luckily, Nintendo will reveal the console’s price and more soon, on January 13th (or on January 12th if you’re in North America). Of course you’ll be able to read all about it here on DualShockers.