Whether that’s bad or good news depends on your Switch purchase intent in Singapore.
According to two popular retailers here, Qisahn and PLAYe, gamers looking to purchase a Nintendo Switch console will have to purchase both copies of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and 1,2 Switch. There isn’t an option to purchase the console on its own for now, if you’d prefer. Now there are two ways to look at this situation.
- Option 1: You are going to purchase both games anyway, so it’s all cool.
- Option 2: Uh oh. You want neither or only one of the bundled games. And chances are you can’t sell them off, as the second-hand market will probably be flooded with these games.
Let’s digress for a while.
Maxsoft, the regional distributor for all things Nintendo, has not released the pricing of the Switch and its games, much less the bundle. But in a text message sent out to its customer base earlier today, PLAYe have pointedly stated that the bundle purchase will be anywhere between S$600-S$749.
If we put the price of the two Switch games to, say, S$79.90 each (conservatively speaking), that would mean the console would be going for anywhere between S$449 to S$599. Although by our own “guess-timation”, the price of the console should fall in the range of S$479-S$499. This takes into account a few factors:
- The USD exchange rate against the SGD – Maxsoft’s stocks come from Nintendo America, and so needs to take into account the current volatile exchange rate between the two currencies (Blame Trump, seriously). This also explains why Maxsoft and Nintendo America have yet to conclude the local SRP for the Switch, as both parties needs the USD to be stable first.
- The Nintendo Switch SRP of US$299 in US of America does not include States/City tax – Los Angeles’ sales tax, for instance, is a cool 10%. Historically speaking, console pricing in Singapore already includes the 7% GST.
- The cost of freight – Be it your PS4 or Switch console, they don’t magically appear on our shores. There’s shipping (usually by sea freight) involved, and the shipping cost of a Nintendo Switch by Nintendo America to Singapore has to be considered in the final local SRP.
- 7% GST – As mentioned earlier, GST is usually and already factored into the local SRP.
- Local power adapter – Here’s the thing; Nintendo America doesn’t ship out power adapters that work with our 220-240v requirement. And under the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) guidelines, all electronic devices (especially if they are WiFi-compatible) have to work with our local power voltage in order to pass their certification – hence that ‘IDA Approved’ sticker in your household appliances / electronics. Somebody needs to make a local power adapter to conform to this requirement, even if the product comes with a universally compatible power unit (like the PlayStation 4 and Wii U). No prize for guessing who have to foot this cost.
- Local warranty support – Warranty support isn’t exactly free.
We hope the above offers some perspectives and rationales to how and why our console pricing differs from the US and even Japan markets.
Now, getting back to the issue of the Switch’s compulsory bundle purchase. According to our sources locally and in America, it is Nintendo America’s directive that a copy of Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and 1,2 Switch be required for every Switch console ordered by retailers. It is then up to the retailer to decide if they want to bundle the games with the console. Or without. From a purely business point of view, it definitely makes sense to bundle the two games with the console while the demand is high – and in all likelyhood, these aren’t crappy run-of-the-mill shitty games either.
Having to purchase a Switch bundle without a console-only option isn’t ideal, for sure. But who’s really to blame for it? You decide.
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