Amidst a weak yen in Japan, electronics are currently facing some serious price hikes, including the likes of Apple’s iPhone, but also encompassing a wide range of pretty essential goods including TVs, fridges, dishwashers, and printers.
One area that seems to be immune (for now) is the video game console market. According to Bloomberg (thanks, VGC), the three major console manufacturers – Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft – were asked whether a price increase is on the cards in Japan in the near future. While Sony and Microsoft conspiciously declined to comment, Nintendo stated quite plainly that it has “no plans” to raise Switch prices.
Of course, plans can change at the drop of a hat, but it’s nonetheless reasonably welcome news for customers. As cited by Bloomberg, none of the console manufacturers want to be the first to raise the price of their products, but what this currently means is that consoles in Japan are effectively $100 cheaper than anywhere else.
On the flipside, as a result of companies not opting to raise their prices, this has also led to scalpers in Japan buying consoles and selling them on again at a profit at the most opportunistic time, further increasing demand in the country and driving profits away from shareholders. As such, an eventual price increase may seem almost inevitable.
One likely reason that Nintendo is declining to raise the price of the Switch is that all models are still selling like hotcakes in Japan. Just last week, Nintendo managed to sell almost 70,000 Switch units, whereas the PlayStation 5 managed just over 11,000. It’s clear that Nintendo sees no reason to raise its prices when its products are still performing so well. Nevertheless, as the yen weakens, Nintendo is expected to report a profit loss as part of its next financial results.
Do you think console prices will rise in Japan? Who will be the first to cave? Let us know in the comments!