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Pemalite said:
Soundwave said:

Good tech doesn't have to be expensive.

The N64 and GameCube had very powerful hardware for their time and they weren't expensive, the Tegra X1 was available in the Nvidia Shield at launch in 2015 which wasn't expensive either (only $199.99) and in 2015 it most certainly was top of the line mobile chip tech, a T239 should be 8 years newer than the Tegra X1 and certainly a full generation+ leap in performance. Nothing too crazy about that. 

This idea that powerful must = expensive isn't true, it's a load of crap that was pushed primarily during the Wii and DS era as a phony gospel truth, Nintendo has had affordable and powerful hardware before.

Besides, Nintendo doesn't have to position the next Switch as some kind of bargain basement cheap product, that's what the Switch Lite is for. Switch OLED is $350, the next system will almost certainly start at $399.99 and co-exist with cheaper OG Switch models for people who can't afford that initially. 

Actually the Nintendo 64 had very expensive hardware.

Where Nintendo actually managed to save money was ironically by not having an optical disk drive, I think people forget that optical disks drives fetched a premium even on PC back in the 90's.
And having everything as an accessory, even an increase in Ram helped alleviate cost pressures.

The Gamecube also had a cost advantage over Microsoft as well by not including a hard drive and relying more heavily on accessories... Plus due to the lack of DVD playback, they saved money by not having to pay DVD royalties. The IBM+ATI/AMD/ArtX combo definitely commanded less of a premium over Intel+nVidia.

So Nintendo did have expensive hardware, it's just they managed to "cut costs" on other corners rather intelligently.

And if I recall, Nintendo actually lost money on the Gamecube for a fair while, but don't quote me on that as I didn't take the time to double check..

The Switch or any handheld for that matter however has different cost pressures these days that Nintendo can't really work around compared to other home consoles like a battery and display... Internal storage and the dock are potential places for cuts to save a buck or beef up the SoC, we saw that with the Switch Lite.

The Super NES was also reasonable hardware for its day (1990), yes maybe people were miffed they cheaped out on the CPU clock speed, but it was a capable piece of hardware for the time better than most anything else on the market unless you wanted to spend like hundreds of dollars more on a Neo Geo. 

By 1996, Nintendo probably could have put a  CD-ROM in the N64 if they really wanted to and sold it for $250, which was supposed to be the original launch price anyway (Nintendo lowered the price to $199.99 even before the system released). CD drive prices were dropping fast by '96, this is why Playstation was able to cut its price to $199.99 as well in 1996 to match the N64's price tag. 

The Tegra X1 in the Switch while cutting edge for 2015 was never that expensive even in 2015. The Nvidia Shield released in spring 2015 for $199.99. 

Display and batteries are much cheaper today as they're hugely mass produced in so many devices (phones, tablets, etc.) unless Nintendo is planning to use some kind of ridiculously high resolution display, a 720p or even 1080p display is going to be cheap and so will a 4800-6000 MaH battery. These are not expensive components. They could probably really just keep the same 720p OLED panels they use in the Switch OLED model as its probably fairly cheap as Nintendo keeps ordering millions of them by 2023-2024 etc. it will be a dirt cheap component. 

A Tegra made for 2023 should be easily 5-6x more powerful than a Tegra X1 made in 2015 and modern Nvidia architectural features like DLSS via Tensor Cores is not really that big of a deal either, it's part of the package with modern Nvidia processor. There's nothing mind blowing about that. 

Nintendo also doesn't price hardware for the lowest common denominator any more, all the hardware makers have learned that premium pricing tiers are attractive as they yield higher profit margins over time. I don't think the Switch successor is going to be less than $399.99 when it launches and unless Nintendo makes stupid design or software decisions it will likely be sold out for a while. 

Probably 2 years after Super Switch/Switch 2 releases you'll get a cheap model option in the Super Switch Lite or Switch 2 Lite for like $249.99 maybe but by then the component costs will really have shrunk anyway. 

Last edited by Soundwave - on 23 October 2022