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The Nintendo Switch Tax begins with...Minecraft Story Mode?!

Aug 11, 2009
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(Taken from Wario64's twitter)

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/minecra...nture-nintendo-switch/5801813.p?skuId=5801813
https://www.amazon.com/Minecraft-St...02-20&linkId=5d08af1c84094b00b8e764e0ff40f421

Before I start, I want to say that this isn't a "shit on Nintendo" thread, rather than I wanted to have a mature discussion about how I fear that this is the first step towards one of the problems that plagued Wii U.

With that said, I am a proud Switch owner, and yes, being a fan of Telltale games (except GoT), I ended up liking Minecraft Story Mode a lot more than I originally expected
save for the second season pass, especially that Youtuber bullshit.

There was a good chance that I would have bought this (and the rumored Batman port), but after the final price reveal, where the price is $10 more than it is on other platforms without any additional content added, I doubt it. And yeah, I know there are a lot of ports coming on Switch:

-Puyo Puyo Tetris
-Binding of Issac +
-Ultra Street Fighter 2
-Lego City Undercover

But at the same time, these games either:

-offer content that isn't in previous versions (USF2/LCU)
-have a little exclusive/bonus tossed in to make up for the physical versions (Issac and Puyo)

Let me make myself clear - I have no problem buying ports as long as I have justification to. For example, I have purchased every Capcom remaster in physical form within the last 2 years because they were top-of-the-line and dirt cheap. If there's one thing I preach to, it's "speak with your wallet."

And while Ninty remasters are a bit more pricey, they have improved features within (e.g. the Zeldas on Wii U) and since its Nintendo, chances are they'll retain their value one way or the other.

But in a case like this, what good comes of this? A lot of games last generation suffered because of their price point and tardiness on Wii U (Need for Speed, for example). Is such a thing inevitable? If we "speak with our wallets," companies such as Telltale will avoid bringing their new games (GotG, WDS3) to the new system because of the failure of such pricey ports.

What says you, GAF?
 

CaviarMeths

Member
Mar 20, 2015
7,426
2
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Not the first game. There was a recent thread on Rime being more expensive on Switch too, with a community manager for the game even coming in to the thread to defend the decision to gouge Switch owners.

Nothing will ever fail as hard as ME3 on Wii U for $10 more than the entire trilogy on PS3/360, but this is definitely bad form out of the gate for new hardware.
 

LewieP

Member
Jan 30, 2015
5,560
2
0
It's only happening because Nintendo allows it.

Sony and Microsoft have policies in place to prevent developers and publishers from charging more for identical games on similar platforms, in order to prevent their customers from getting screwed over.

It appears that preventing their customers from getting screwed over is not a priority for Nintendo.

I still think it's outrageous that Nintendo are letting Binding of Isaac force you to buy all the DLC, whereas it's $15 standalone on all other platforms it's released for.
 

robotrock

Banned
Feb 28, 2010
26,203
2
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I think Puyo Puyo Tetris will be the first one in April, right? $40 physical on Switch, $30 physical on PS4.
 

chillybright

Banned
Mar 23, 2015
2,071
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According to that Rime thread, the premium seems to come down to cartridge cost. (and digital version has to be kept parity with the physical one.)
 

Damaniel

Banned
Mar 6, 2013
6,166
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Damaniel, DM
Portable tax.

More like a 'developers taking advantage of a pool of early adopters who only have access to a tiny number of games - and fewer still worth playing' tax. If someone's desperate for something to play on a system with few games, there will be studios willing to jump in and cater to their needs, for a price.
 

Champion

Member
Dec 5, 2015
850
0
0
Is it really because of carts? Well many of you asked for carts and now seeing why others wanted no parts of it. Enjoy that nostalgia tax.
 

shadow2810

Member
Sep 10, 2013
2,906
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According to that Rime thread, the premium seems to come down to cartridge cost. (and digital version has to be kept parity with the physical one.)

The parity reason is full of shit though when Puyo digital is only $30 (I know it's $40 on EU eshop, but different publisher)
 

EDarkness

Member
May 13, 2007
10,399
80
1,335
Japan
skullforge.omc-games.com
More like a 'developers taking advantage of a pool of early adopters who only have access to a tiny number of games - and fewer still worth playing' tax. If someone's desperate for something to play on a system with few games, there will be studios willing to jump in and cater to their needs, for a price.

This is most likely the case. With people wanting games, it only makes sense. On top of that, it's that idea that this is the first time the game has appeared on the platform, so there's more initial investment for them and that is passed on to the customer. The same thing happened with Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

It's only happening because Nintendo allows it.

Sony and Microsoft have policies in place to prevent developers and publishers from charging more for identical games on similar platforms, in order to prevent their customers from getting screwed over.

It appears that preventing their customers from getting screwed over is not a priority for Nintendo.

I still think it's outrageous that Nintendo are letting Binding of Isaac force you to buy all the DLC, whereas it's $15 standalone on all other platforms it's released for.

Nintendo is completely hands off with this kind of stuff. Pricing is 100% up to the developer and if you don't like how the pricing is, then take it up with the publisher. They make the decision. Of course, the other choice is to simply not buy their game. That's my stance. If they want to take advantage of players, then I won't buy their stuff. I agree with Nintendo on this. I like having 100% control over my own pricing. The downside is that publishers can do stuff like this, but I think the positives outweigh the negatives.
 
Aug 11, 2009
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Not the first game. There was a recent thread on Rime being more expensive on Switch too, with a community manager for the game even coming in to the thread to defend the decision to gouge Switch owners.

Nothing will ever fail as hard as ME3 on Wii U for $10 more than the entire trilogy on PS3/360, but this is definitely bad form out of the gate for new hardware.

Exactly! This was horsehit from the start, and spitting in the faces of loyal Nintendo fans, caring less of what EA claimed.

According to that Rime thread, the premium seems to come down to cartridge cost. (and digital version has to be kept parity with the physical one.)

This was another theory. Is it kinda like what happened with NES carts in the '80s, where Nintendo held a monopoly on it? Then, why not do this with the 3DS carts then?

I think Puyo Puyo Tetris will be the first one in April, right? $40 physical on Switch, $30 physical on PS4.

True. But like Issac, I thought SEGA's tossing in extras to make up for the extra physical costs (I thought digital is $30)

This is most likely the case. With people wanting games, it only makes sense. On top of that, it's that idea that this is the first time the game has appeared on the platform, so there's more initial investment for them and that is passed on to the customer. The same thing happened with Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

But I'd chalk that up to NFS scenario than Mass Effect, where tender love and care was put into the port, only to have it fail at retail.
 

Mejilan

Running off of Custom Firmware
Jun 9, 2004
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NJ, USA
MS isn't having a great Q1. You'd begrudge them a bit of extra monies from a new version of Minecraft? Scandalous.
 
Aug 11, 2009
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MS isn't having a great Q1. You'd begrudge them a bit of extra monies from a new version of Minecraft? Scandalous.

TBH, part of me is shocked that Minecraft and MSM weren't available at launch. It really takes that long to port, without any sort of media released for those versions in particular?
 

Neoxon

Junior Member
Jul 28, 2013
52,548
1
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Is it really because of carts? Well many of you asked for carts and now seeing why others wanted no parts of it. Enjoy that nostalgia tax.
You do realize that discs are a huge no-no for systems meant to be taken on the go, right? The PSP is proof of that.
 

CaviarMeths

Member
Mar 20, 2015
7,426
2
0
According to that Rime thread, the premium seems to come down to cartridge cost. (and digital version has to be kept parity with the physical one.)
That Rime thread actually presented a better argument for the cart cost not being a factor. No other publisher is pushing that cost onto consumers. No such parity rule is likely to exist either, as Puyo Puyo Tetris is $40 physical and $30 digital.
 

molnizzle

Member
Jul 14, 2013
8,587
183
630
It's only happening because Nintendo allows it.

Sony and Microsoft have policies in place to prevent developers and publishers from charging more for identical games on similar platforms, in order to prevent their customers from getting screwed over.

It appears that preventing their customers from getting screwed over is not a priority for Nintendo.

I still think it's outrageous that Nintendo are letting Binding of Isaac force you to buy all the DLC, whereas it's $15 standalone on all other platforms it's released for.

Yep.

Nintendo has always been shitty with pricing but they seem to be taking their gouging to new levels with the Switch.
 

Omeganex9999

Member
Mar 14, 2010
714
1
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What does this "portable tax" thing mean? 3DS/Vita games use carts and they never cost more than the home consoles counterpart.

They are capitalizing on the poor lineup of the Switch. This "tax" is hopefully going to disappear by the end of the year, when more games come out.
 

CaviarMeths

Member
Mar 20, 2015
7,426
2
0
Is it really because of carts? Well many of you asked for carts and now seeing why others wanted no parts of it. Enjoy that nostalgia tax.

People are nostalgic for carts similar to those used in the DS, 3DS, and Vita. You got 'er, pal.
 

Stumpokapow

listen to the mad man
May 21, 2006
17,232
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I see two major factors:

1) Switch cartridges are more expensive than other consoles (possibly even than comparable cart options, depending on what Nintendo's manufacturing setup, minimum guarantees, etc. are) and companies pass along the cost to consumers -- and no companies are not going to charge $2.44 more or whatever, they're going to round up to the next logical pricepoint. It's also possible Nintendo's revenue share stuff actually penalizes stuff that's budget priced, which might incentivize people to go up a whole price class instead of just $5.

2) Launch console. If you're a development, being at a console at launch involves a very different risk profile. On the one hand, nothing is on shelves and you have no competition, so you will probably attach pretty well and the chance of being lost in the shuffle is lower. On the other hand, the upside is also far lower, because your game that appeals to 5% of the population is now 5% of a low number instead of 5% of a high number. If you look at it as giving up upside in exchange for protection against downside risk, then one logical behaviour might be to assume that customers are somewhat less price sensitive and maximize your revenue given a constraint on units. Even outside the video game arena, most businesses can either be in a profit-per-unit business (margin) or a sell-many-units business (volume), and if you can't do volume, you have to do margin.

Separately, I expect Minecraft is substantially underpriced. It'd be selling tens of millions of units across platforms at $60/game, but because of its humble origins, it has historically been much cheaper. I think in general over time you would expect the game's price to float up for that reason.

But like most OMG IMPORTANT CONSUMER RIGHTS ISSUES, you can spend your time yelling about how UNETHICAL and BIAS this is, or you can basically get on with your day. If you get on with your day, you have a choice between purchasing the product anyway or choosing not to purchase the product. In the case of multiplatform stuff, it's cheaper elsewhere, and if it's just the game you're after, you could buy it elsewhere. Not to say that you can't complain or anything, but I think ultimately your goal should be to be happy with your purchases and happy with your life, and the best route to achieving that is probably not letting these kinds of things paralyze you. With regards to the Switch, Nintendo has had a number of patterns in their behaviour for a very long time. One of them is rocky handling of third party relationships. Maybe they'll do better this time, but it's possible they won't. And so if you are buying a Switch and planning to get mad when it doesn't get a game, gets a worse version of a game, gets a game late, or the game costs more, maybe it's time to realize that you can save yourself a bit of misery by adjusting your expectations and responses now.
 

OrbitalBeard

Member
Jun 2, 2013
24,901
8
0
I still think it's outrageous that Nintendo are letting Binding of Isaac force you to buy all the DLC, whereas it's $15 standalone on all other platforms it's released for.

I don't see how this is outrageous. Plenty of games release on new platforms in "Definitive Edition" or "Game of the Year Edition" or "Complete Edition" forms. I can rattle off a bunch of examples, like The Last of Us Remastered, Dishonored: Definitive Edition, Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, Skyrim: Special Edition, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, etc. This isn't anything new.

As for the topic of this thread, the "Switch tax" exists because it's a new platform with a hungry install base and limited options. Companies are attempting to capitalize on this, That's it. If the install base continues to grow and more software options become available, this issue will resolve itself.
 

LewieP

Member
Jan 30, 2015
5,560
2
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Nintendo is completely hands off with this kind of stuff. Pricing is 100% up to the developer and if you don't like how the pricing is, then take it up with the publisher. They make the decision. Of course, the other choice is to simply not buy their game. That's my stance. If they want to take advantage of players, then I won't buy their stuff. I agree with Nintendo on this. I like having 100% control over my own pricing. The downside is that publishers can do stuff like this, but I think the positives outweigh the negatives.

I don't think there is anything admirable about Nintendo's decision to empower publishers to charge their customers more than on other similar platforms.

I don't see how this is outrageous. Plenty of games release on new platforms in "Definitive Edition" or "Game of the Year Edition" or "Complete Edition" forms. I can rattle off a bunch of examples, like The Last of Us Remastered, Dishonored: Definitive Edition, Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, Skyrim: Special Edition, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, etc. This isn't anything new.
How many of the examples you cited cost more than double the original release price?
 

AzaK

Member
Jun 11, 2011
8,363
1
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What he said. I sort of see it as a premium to be able to play literally anywhere, or for some people, who only have time away from home.
Seriously? So do you expect a discount for the low end tech compared to the other platforms or no cloud saves etc. it's people like you that keep developers doing this shit.
 

Roo

Member
Sep 4, 2011
19,121
1
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It doesn't bother me. I'll be waiting for price drops. I'm in no hurry to buy games day 1 lol
This is hardly a solution
What if every developer out there starts charging more for the Switch version of their games compared to other platforms? Will you "wait" for price drops on every single one of them? Good luck.
 

rockx4

Member
Jun 9, 2011
2,013
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California
The pricing increase is ridiculous, we never saw it on Vita or DS\3DS. They remained $30\40 (except for that Atlus tax). Carts have always cost more than discs, but previously we didn't see an increase for retail pricing. If publishers can't justify the price on physical releases, then just do digital. By doing physical and jacking up the price with the price parity they screw everyone over.

... I have a feeling publishers intentionally want to do physical releases to use cart prices as an excuse to jack up prices for both physical and digital versions. Pretty fucked up.
 

DNAbro

Member
Nov 18, 2013
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Random thought bought I wonder if the "Atlus tax" will increase on Switch games because of this.
 

unrealist

Member
Oct 14, 2013
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Singapore
I don't see how this is outrageous. Plenty of games release on new platforms in "Definitive Edition" or "Game of the Year Edition" or "Complete Edition" forms. I can rattle off a bunch of examples, like The Last of Us Remastered, Dishonored: Definitive Edition, Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, Skyrim: Special Edition, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, etc. This isn't anything new.

My friends often wait for "Complete" or "GOTY" editions for everything inclusive too, especially with huge backlogs.. I agree choice is great, but I think lots of us prefer the complete package. I mean who will want to play BOI without the DLCs (they provide tons of items etc)?
 

OrbitalBeard

Member
Jun 2, 2013
24,901
8
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How many of the examples you cited cost more than double the original release price?

Well, Dark Souls II right off the top of my head. The base game was easily obtainable for around $20 when the XB1 / PS4 version with all DLC launched at $50.
 

IsntChrisL

Member
May 1, 2008
3,626
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985
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SoCal
Is it really because of carts? Well many of you asked for carts and now seeing why others wanted no parts of it. Enjoy that nostalgia tax.

Carts are still great. Carts are essential for playing portable. Otherwise you've got a shitty UMD situation. Even Sony ditched them. They also load faster, are less likely to get damaged, don't wear down a loud disc drive, and they're easy to carry around.

That said, I still plan to get a lot of games digitally and these higher prices suck.
 

Red Devil

Member
Feb 13, 2015
2,753
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Why should the portable version be more expensive? Based on that logic, DQXI will be more expensive on the 3DS/Switch than the PS4 version because the former is portable.

True, but then again paid online is the norm now on consoles...
 

R00bot

Member
Aug 30, 2014
1,120
0
0
I can play remote play on Vita for free...

People need to stop with this argument. Remote play on Vita =/= to having the hardware there. Maybe you don't realise how lucky you are but many countries such as my own don't have fast enough internet at home or on the go to stream anything above 144p (upload, usually my download is fast enough for 720p). Also as another poster above mentioned it's another expense on top of the PS4 that you don't have to worry about with the Switch.
 

Spiral_Steak

Neo Member
Sep 5, 2016
36
0
200
Australia
The costs of running servers these days are more efficient and a way more cheaper compared to a few years ago, I'm still annoyed that Nintendo is joining the Sony/Microsoft money hungry mentality now.
 
Jul 28, 2014
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All I can say is I would have bought Isaac, but I'm not paying 40 for a flash game.