Actually the Nintendo 64 had very expensive hardware.
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