Nintendo fully unveiled its next console, the Switch
, a mobile and home console hybrid, is designed to allow users to continue playing, no matter where they are. The device will go on sale on March 3 for $299 USD. The company’s stock was down nearly 6% in Tokyo, driven primarily by investors’ negative reaction to the Switch’s price.
What does this mean?:
This is a make or break period for Nintendo. The company has been facing pressure from investors to divert attention from it’s hardware business and instead focus on mobile games, especially after the spectacular failure that was the Wii U. Investors are concerned that the high price of the Switch ($299, vs. mid $200s for the PS4 and the XBOX One), won’t do much to attract mainstream consumers.
Over the last year, the company released Pokemon GO, which was an international hit, and Super Mario Run, which was met with mixed reviews from fans and criticized for its pricing model by investors.
Why should I care?:
This could be another in a long line of signals that the end is near for the dedicated video game console business. As mobile phones have proliferated, mobile games have become a huge business and have made dedicated video game consoles, which serve too-specific a purpose for most, redundant.
Ultimately, video game companies compete in the market for consumer attention, which is currently more divided than it has ever been before. Nintendo has a lot of work to do to convince consumers that their latest efforts are worth consumers’ attention.