Want to swap your PlayStation 4 for the Nintendo Switch? You will have to pay more for the same games because producing cartridges is more expensive than that of optical disks.
If you’re of a certain age to remember the launching ceremony of the PlayStation 1, you may also remember how excited people were when switching to optical disks. Instead of buying a costly cartridge which was full of chips, PlayStation 1 allowed us to burn games on inexpensive spinning disks. The resulting popularity of the optical disks soon forced other consoles to follow suit.
With the unveiling ceremony of Switch, Nintendo has turned back the clocks by opting for cartridge media yet again. It is the first time that Nintendo has offered an alternative to Game Boy, even since its launch a few years ago. Still, now that the alternative has come forward, its running cost might dissuade even the most avid of Nintendo fans to try their hand on it.
With the passage of time, no doubt we will have cross-platform games – the ones which we can play on Xbox, Switch, and PS4. Currently, however, a game costs more on Switch than it does on PS4. And as you might guess, the devil lies in the detail – which in this case is the manufacturing cost.
As revealed by Eurogamer, optical disks, including even the Blu-ray ones, are very inexpensive to produce on a mass scale. In contrast, Cartridges do not have a set cost which means they are currently more expensive than their optical counterpart.
It doesn’t matter whether you are going to burn a 40GB or 5GB to a Blu-ray disk, the basic media will always have the same price. The same cannot be said of the cartridges as their price fluctuates depending on the storage. In other words, if you want your cartridge to have 1GB of storage, it will have a small manufacturing cost than the cartridge which allows you to store 32GB data.
And if the price difference wasn’t enough to dissuade you from buying a switch, here’s another caveat: quality difference. In addition to being cheaper, an Xbox or PS4 game will look better and be more powerful than its Switch counterpart.
Taking part in their own misery, Nintendo has announced that they will charge the same amount for any of their games on eShop as they would on its physical version. That is, even if you have bought a large SD Card, downloading the game from eShop isn’t going to save you money.
Therefore, if you want your game to come cheap – while also wanting it to be more powerful and of good quality, you should NOT buy Nintendo Switch.