Nintendo has confirmed it isn’t planning on bumping up the price of its Nintendo Switch in Japan. The publisher, along with fellow console makers Microsoft and Sony, was recently asked about this possibility by Bloomberg. Nintendo’s response was that it had “no plans” to do so at this time.
Currently, Japan’s yen is falling in value, having dropped 21 percent over the past year. As a result, electronics manufacturers have been slightly increasing the prices of electronics to compensate. For example, Apple products are now 25 percent costlier in Japan compared to in the United States.
As Bloomberg noted, video game consoles are currently $100 cheaper everywhere in the world except Japan. There’s reason for all three major console developers to worry that increasing the price of a console will turn away players and developers to competition.
Last week during its earnings call, Sony financial officer Hiroki Totoki simply said there was “nothing specific” to share about a PS5 price increase, though that question was in relation to the system across the world, rather than simply Japan. Like Sony, Microsoft declined to speak definitively on the possibility of a price increase.
Though console makers seem reluctant to hike up prices, analyst Kazunori Ito pointed out to Bloomberg that at this point, Japanese customers have adjusted to the country’s price inflation for TVs, monitors, and household appliances. “I don’t see them getting upset if game consoles followed suit,” he said.
Right now, the Switch’s most current model—the OLED, which released in 2021—is $349 in North America, and 37,980 yen in Japan, which converts to roughly $290. Scalpers and resellers have jumped on the opportunity, buying consoles at the Japanese price and upselling them when a major console game is close to release.
Both Sony and Microsoft (which made their own earnings call in late July) reported a drop in sales and service usage for their respective systems.