Skip to content

Nintendo Switch Dev Kits Are Massively Cheaper Compared To Wii U Dev Kits According To Nintendo Rep

Nintendo representative Masaru Mitsuyoshi recently made an appearance at the Japanese Game Creators Conference 2017 and touched upon a striking piece of information about Nintendo Switch development kits. Whilst the Wii U dev kits came in at a eye-watering $5,000, the Nintendo Switch equivalent will only set back developers interested in creating content a measly $450. This can only be good news for smaller independent studios wishing to bring their games to Nintendo’s new home console.


70 thoughts on “Nintendo Switch Dev Kits Are Massively Cheaper Compared To Wii U Dev Kits According To Nintendo Rep”

    1. Then Iwata would have bankrupted the company….
      I’m guessing you don’t understand that this is a console close to the performance of the current gen systems in a tablet form factor that can be used as a Console and a Handheld. Also, all of the tech inside the controllers as well.

      Stop whining because the Wii U dev kits were $5000 and that was when Iwata was still alive… So who’s the Greedy one again? I love Iwata but using him in your argument when talking about the price of a dev kit is just pointless.

        1. How am I an idiot?
          The Wii U sold at a loss which would have made a massive dent in the company’s funds.
          If the Switch was sold for $250 then they’d yet again make another loss which could put Nintendo at a risky situation.

          And I love how you only focused on that half instead reading the full comment I made. You really need to get your head out of your arse because if you don’t like the fact that the Switch is a powerful and affordable system for $300 for what it has, then don’t buy it.

          Kimishima is making Nintendo profitable again, but then again you Nintendorks don’t like it when Nintendo is making a profit and is actually getting games that aren’t just Nintendo games.

            1. It’s selling for the same price the PS Vita started at, and the Vita only has graphical power. Consoles always start higher. Just because the Switch is starting at $300, it doesn’t mean that it will stay there. The PS4 started at around $400, if I remember correctly.

            2. It always disgusts me a little when people think that power alone is the only thing that drives up sales. The power may not be as high as with the Ps4, yes, but the Ps4 is still old (around 6 to 7 years old) and bigger tech, while the Switch’s is only one or two years old and you have to remember that all it’s tech is highly compacted and made for portability, making tech smaller will ALWAYS be more expensive than producing it in it’s regular size. The Switch is packing quite a punch for it’s small size which should be enough to make it more enticing than 6 year old tech that stands static under your TV. If you really don’t like the price then wait until it becomes old tech and it’s cheaper to produce, because as you and many others love to forget, the PS4 came out costing 400 dollars.

            1. The Wii U sold at a loss. They said that a goal with the Switch to make up for the Wii U was to sell at a profit. You had to buy 2 Wii U games for it to become profitable for them. I’m unsure about the others. Also, indie companies may not be able to afford that money. So much of their time and resources are already going into a game.

              1. The Wii U also fell victim to some manufacturing problems. I’ve forgetting what they were exactly but it caused them to launch at a price higher than they wanted to. I believe Renasas, the semiconductor manufacturer that produced the Wii U’s ASIC was also falling on hard times and almost got put out of business until it was saved by Sony.

      1. The Switch is making close to $100 in profit and is about 1/3rd as powerful as the Xbox One.

        You can literally figure out something close to its manufacturing costs by using the bill of materials of other devices as a reference.

        1. Yes because all of the parts of the Switch have analogs elsewhere, right? Seriously though, a lot of this tech is proprietary or custom. I will say this, adding 1 game to the Switch for free makes profit go negative. That means that the Switch is making $40-$50 profit at most.

          1. The SoC and game cards are proprietary, everything else is bought from someone else.

            They buy their RAM chips from Hynix, Samsung, or Micron. Same with flash memory. The chips in their game cards are purchased from Macronix. Batteries are bought from the same company that Apple and Samsung buy theirs from. The touchscreen is provided by Immersion, or at least the touch sensor is. The screen could still be made by Sharp.

            Based on Nintendo’s previous systems, the WiFi modules are probably from Qualcomm or Broadcom. The Audio Codec might be from Texas Instruments and the Gyroscopes are probably from InvenSense. The power management IC could be from Texas Instruments or STMicroelectronics. The HD Rumble is apparently a clever use of linear resonant actuactors which are the same things used for Apple’s “Taptic Engine”.

            Lastly, the price the manufacturing of SoC’s is largely based on the size of the SoC. So it would be the amount of many useable ones per wafer devided by the cost of the wafer.

            Is their some proprietary tech I’m missing?

              1. Proprietary and custom mean exactly the same things in the context, and besides the SoC, cartridges, and casing, nothing else would be custom or proprietary. What am I forgetting?

                1. Clearly, you’re leaving something out. If bundling 1, 2, Switch would have led to negative profits, then it clearly under $50 of profit. I can’t tell you exactly what you’re missing, or what you’ve failed to properly price, but there’s $50+ too much profit in your math.

                    1. I believe it was Kimishima (if not it was another higher-up) who mentioned that they weren’t bundling to maintain profitability. Considering that 1, 2, Switch is $50 and the most likely title to have been bundled (like Wii Sports or Nintendoland) as it shows off the most of the console’s functionality, it’s safe to assume that profits are below $50.

                      1. Bundling 1, 2 Switch with the system wouldn’t pull $50 out of the profit of the system though. The sale of games gets distributed among retailers, developers, publisher, and platform holders and $50 and $60 prices are more or less standardized in the US. Nothing obligates them to up the retailers cut of the system’s price just because Nintendo decided to include 1, 2, Switch and the they can choose to make less of a profit on 1, 2, Switch in order to bundle it with the system.

                        My guess was that Kimishimi meant that 1, 2 Switch wasn’t packaged with the system in order to keep profitability higher.

                        1. If Nintendo makes $5 profit off of 1, 2, Switch, and adding 1, 2, Switch to Switch as a free, bundled in game makes Switch sales not profitable, then the Switch makes at most $5 per unit sold. The statement was that there will never be Switch+Game bundles because of this restrictive pricing structure.

                            1. I was showing how low the profit could go, not stating fact. You said that Nintendo doesn’t make all $50 off of the sales of 1, 2, Switch, which is true. They likely make no more than $20-$30. If they won’t bundle it because of the negative profit, then that means that the exact profit off of any game is the higher than the profit off of a single Switch. It’s simple math.

                              1. I’m still calling BS on Nintendo making very little profit off of it though. There are tablets with larger, higher resolution screens, larger battery, and more features being sold at a profit for $200 without being to leverage money gained from game sales, no way the Switch’s price is another $100.

                1. It’s a smart move as a Business decision as they can recoup a lot of their money back quickly from just from a few thousand units. I see the Switch getting a price drop by Christmas to get that Holiday Rush Money.

                  I see the Xbox Scorpio having some issues going up against the Switch, even if it’s more powerful than the Switch it’ll still be too expensive for most.

              2. Play Breath of the Wild on WiiU, wait a year for Switch to get some games and a bundle. Problem solved! Thats my plan.
                Who knows, maybe I’ll wait for the next version of switch.

                1. Well funny you should say that, an insider from Foxconn has mentioned that there is a new Switch in development that is more powerful and is capable to go head to head with the likes of the Scorpio and PS4 Pro. I don’t see it being revealed anytime soon but possibly a 2020 reveal might happen.

                  1. That’s quite interesting! I’m sure the switch library will be well established by then, and we’ll know if Nintendo is really going with one, universal console.

                    1. I don’t think so. It was a more recent rumor, and it corresponded nicely with Nintendo’s patent for a “Supplemental Computing Device”. I have been very intrigued by this for a long time as I do think something is in the works.

                      1. Oddball even said it was an insider from Foxconn talking about a “new Switch”. Besides, the whole Supplemental Computing Device wouldn’t increase graphics performance but would be able to compute AI and physics unless it was mean to stream parts of the image over as h.264. Graphics just require too much bandwidth to do over WiFi or even Ethernet.

                1. It’s not the cost of the hardware that makes kits. A kit means ‘software’ payed to others, for example tools, engines, etc. Sometimes they round the price high to avoid the kit being bought by ‘hackers’ or small ‘useless’ teams.

                2. The switch cannot be compared to a current gen box, and I wish people would stop trying. That doesnt mean it wont be fun and look nice, but the technology is behind current consoles, more so if you count PSPro and Scorpio.

                  Its not about graphics though, right? Nintendo isnt competing with consoles, so I wouldnt bother going to the effort to make excuses or try to soften the blow on their behalf. Gaming tablets will never be gaming PCs, and the ones that come close are $$$$$

                  1. Actually, I don’t see why people like you are complaining seeing how the Switch is basically running every modern games engine that the current gen run. Also, you do know if the Maxwell rumours are true, the Switch isn’t as weak as you think.

                    And yet again, where in my comment did I say “specs matter”?
                    I couldn’t give a donkey’s buttcheek about how powerful the system is because I already know it’s capable enough to compete with the current generation of systems. Plus, 300 GFlops less than Xbox One isn’t really that bad. I wish people like you would stop saying “people can’t compare the Switch to current gen” just because of “reasons”.

                    1. Time for a list! They are both fun, and easier to read! :D Without further adieu…

                      1. I don’t give two shits what game engine Switch is running. if it doesn’t get the games, then who cares.

                      2. I wasn’t complaining about the switch. I’m happily going to game on my WiiU and X1, and have been for nearly a year. you want to see complaining, read my posts from back when I only games on Nintendo consoles and hated that my loyalty to Nintendo meant jack-shit to them. Why should it? it’s a business.

                      3. I am not buying a switch because for the last year, I’ve got to enjoy what being able to play modern, current, non-Nintendo games feels like. Switch offers absolutely nothing I want to play, so I’m waiting until it does. I DO give half a donkeys buttcheek about power, because when you totally disregard it like Nintendo has for two gens and almost 2 decades, you lose 3rd party support.

                      4. Find someone that is actually complaining about Switch’s graphics and engage them with how it’s not important. I said a tablet cannot be compared with a desktop setup. I’m sorry, that’s how it works, unless you take a new tablet and compare it with an outdated desktop, which is what some Switch fans are doing when trying to compare it with a 3rd party box. even then it comes up short, but again, it’s not all about graphics.

                      5. As long as it gets 3rd party games, even if they don’t look quite as good, it will be a step in the right direction. But I’m not spending $300 to play a bunch of ports and indie games I am perfectly fine playing without it. I wouldn’t buy it if it were as strong as a PS4 because I’m not going through another Gdamn game drought with Nintendo.

                      1. And that is perfectly fine. You play and play on what makes you happy. AAA third party games are not making me happy which for the first time I decided not to buy a PS4 and Xbox One due to there is only one game on each that I want to play that I can’t get on my PC well I think the Xbox One game I can now but that is beside the point. I do like the Assassin Creeds games and the GTA games but it is not the end of the world if I don’t get to play them. I buy what is on the platform I decide to buy. I use to like the Tomb Raider series but not the direction it is in right now and that is fine. Sport games is sport games so I will play them. I don’t like FPS or TPS (that show half your body). A person that does like them well they most likely will need a console that gets a lot of those games. People complain about what happen with Wii U. That just one console generation. It did get the Call of Duties, Assassin Creeds, Batmans, Watch Dog, Darksiders and some exclusive games. Publishers just decided it wasn’t worths their time for some of their bigger budget games due to some reason or other. Wii was worth their time because it did get games that people didn’t know the Wii had like Godfather and Scarface along with Call of Duty, Resident Evils, etc. This is a new generation for Nintendo. As I have said before, Publishers will make game for the system if they want to. There is nothing new announced since the Switch presentation so we don’t know what any third party publishers have in mind. Remember it is the Publishers that make the decision not the developers. I can’t say I understand how you feel because no company have and will ever make me feel some type of emotion towards them where they disappointed me or hurt my feelings where I would ever speak about them. I would just move on enjoy what I really like. It is about what you like not what you dislike.

                        1. WiiU did end up getting some great games, after the long dead-period. If you didn’t like Mass Effect or Monster Hunter, you were kinda shit outta luck for a long time.

                          I pumped a lot of time into AC4 on WiiU, and I bought nearly every 3rd party game to hit the system. Too little too late I’m afraid. What concerns me, is on WiiU, these great 3rd party titles were not being supported by fans, for this reason or that. I hope Nintendo and the other developers can set aside the Wii Eras and start fresh with Switch. we shall see.

                          And to your other point, you’re right, I was wayyy to emotionally attached to Nintendo. I’m really a Mentat, an analytical guy, but ever since I sat down and played the NES before I had facial hair and back when girls had cooties, they became much more than another “company.”

                          So, breaking up is hard to do and all that stuff, but yeah, I’m definitely a drifter when it comes to games now. But still crossing my fingers Nintendo is around a long, long time! I’d say it’s certainly possible they will outlive me! xD

                    2. What Maxwell rumors? It IS either Maxwell or Pascal but it’s likely 2 SMMs in one GPC. Being Maxwell or Pascal doesn’t automatically make something a powerhouse.

                      It’s also not 300 GFLOPS less.

                      1. You can’t compare systems based on FLOPS counts. GFLOPS are a theoretical peak metric of performance that shows what system could do if it had an infinite amount of memory bandwidth and was 100% efficient. It’s determined algorithmically, not by real work performance. (ALUs x clock speed x 2 FLOPS per ALU)

                      2. The Tegra X1 is 1 TFLOPS using half-precision (16-bit) FLOPs. Half-precision FLOPs can be useful for doing fragment shaders, but when someone says the XBO or PS4 are 1.31 or 1.84 TFLOPS, they’re talking about full-precision (32-bit) FLOPS. The TX1 is a 512 full-precision GFLOPS chip.

                      3. Even if you compared it’s half-precison performance to full-precision performance of the XBO, it’s still not 300 FLOPS less. The Switch is rumored to be clocked at 768Mhz in TV mode and 307.2 Mhz in handheld mode making it a 393.2/786.4 GFLOPS chip when docked, and 157.2/314.6 GFLOPS when not. That means that, when it comes to theoretical peak performance, it’s 30%-60% the performance of the XBO at best. It looks like the Switch also uses much slower 25.6GB memory for both CPU and GPU workloads with no on-chip graphics memory so it’s likely it’ll be bandwidth constrained just like BotW seems to already show with it’s 900p resolution and frame rate dips when heavy alpha effects are used.

                      4. Maxwell does not have separate 32-bit and 16-bit ALUs. The 32-bit ALUs themselves can do two 16-bit operations but only if they’re the same operation. If two FP16 operations can’t be bonded then they’ll be performed at 32-bit speeds. Not sure if that means those operations get promoted to 32-bit or if they’re only done with half the 32-bit ALU.

                  2. I agree. Fans ought to get on board with what the Switch actually is of they are going to defend it this way. First, It is not meant to compete with the XB1 and PS4 in terms of power. That’s just wishful thinking. There is a mountain of evidence that suggests this is going to house the X1 chip, and guess what? There is currently a console on market that’s sports the X1, and it’s called the Nvidia Shield TV. I own one, and the games look about as good as what you’d find on last gen systems, I.E., the Xbox 360. But if you take all that power and put it in a handheld, IMO it’s not a bad proposition.

                    Second, The Switch is not going to get a lot of 3rd party AAA titles. Even if the system is a success, it wasn’t designed that way. You can tell Nintendo wants a lot of Indie titles on the system, and the Nintendo themselves will take care of the AAA titles. This is because Nintendo is again trying to attract that ever elusive, ever fickle casual crowd, and I’m convinced that they might just do it this time out.

                    I’m taking a wait and see approach myself, but what appeals to me about the Switch is that it’s probably going to be the best gaming tablet money can buy. While it’s not as powerful as a tablet, it’s still as close as you can get to a console experience on a tablet… And that still holds some appeal for me.

            1. No difference for a normal development team. Would make a difference just for indies… though sometimes indies develop nice games and since this is an handheld-too console… it’s a win-win situation.

              1. Nintendo First Order Commander Quadraxis

                ||Technically you could but you also need a special license from Nintendo to confirm that you are a serious scientist…||

              1. The only reason 3DS carts were only $40 is that they are small. You won’t see a 32GB 3DS cart. Carts are more expensive to make than disks, too. They’re good side comes from speed of loading, size, and durability.

                1. I used to believe that discs were cheaper to manufacture than cartridges, Then I started hearing a bunch of people on the internet saying just the opposite. That cartridges would be cheaper to produce, therefore cost less. I ended up believing them. Now it’s back to the way things were. It’s all confusing.

                  1. They’re cheaper for small things like 3DS carts, but more expensive for larger titles like those on the Switch. They’re solid state storage devices, rather than discs, and all cases outside of high capacity, small discs (what the Switch would need), the discs are less expensive.

              2. They have always, always been more expensive. Discs are practically nothing, carts cost dollars, not cents.

                Still, you can bet your ass Switch games will be durable, and I would like to know what technical benefits they bring to the table.

                not having to use an optical drive MUST be an advantage.

                N64 games were expensive as hell. DS games weren’t cheap. I think Switch games are about on target for a cartridge. :)

            2. Pingback: Nintendo Switch: svelato il costo dei dev kit, molto inferiore a Wii U -

            3. This is nothing but good news. Depending on what Value does with Steam Direct’s submission cost, this could even be cheaper than getting games on Steam.

              But jesus tap-dancing christ! $5000 to make a game on an under-powered piece of trash?! O_O Get real! That just adds to the reason why the Wii U was such a let down!

            Leave a Reply

            %d bloggers like this: