Skip to main content

How much is a Nintendo Switch?

The Nintendo Switch is a popular option for a lot of gamers, and it’s not difficult to see why. Along with all the great games available, like Animal Crossing, many gamers also consider the Switch to be a more budget-friendly option. 

In comparison to consoles like the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, the Nintendo Switch boasts a much more affordable price tag that’s attractive to a lot of players.

The system itself

The standard Nintendo Switch hybrid gaming system costs $300, and it rarely goes on sale, even for Cyber Monday or Black Friday. If there is a special promotion, it typically involves a free game like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe packaged with the full-price system or, occasionally, a $25 Nintendo eShop credit.

The Nintendo Switch Lite is cheaper at $200, as the system doesn’t include the peripherals packaged with the standard Nintendo Switch. There is no need for a dock, since the system can’t be used on a television, and its built-in controls mean there are no Joy-Con controllers or Joy-Con grip in the box. If you’re going to play your system exclusively as a handheld, the Nintendo Switch Lite will cut down on the price.

Memory cards

Both versions of the Nintendo Switch come with only 32GB of internal storage, and a portion of that holds the console’s operating system. Despite the system not requiring full game installations if using physical game cards, file sizes often eclipse what the cards will hold, and the Switch will need to download additional content. The card will reach its limit in no time — and even more quickly if you choose to download games.

This makes purchasing a memory card essential. The Switch makes use of MicroSDHC and MicroSDXC, with the latter having a much higher storage limit. The cards have dropped in price over the last few years, with a 256GB card now only costing $35. This is plenty of storage space for the system, and you can go up even higher if you wish. Higher is better, because you won’t be able to easily transfer data between two storage devices like you can on other consoles.


iVapo Nintendo Switch screen protectors

Unlike most modern phones and tablets, the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite do not have a layer of glass protecting their screens. Instead, it’s a layer of plastic, which is intended to prevent cracking and more serious damage but also results in an easily scratched screen. The solution for this is a screen protector — either plastic or glass — and these don’t cost that much.

They’re available online for less than $10, and often come with multiple protectors in case something happens while you’re applying the first one. If you want a glass protector, however, we highly suggest purchasing it in person, as they break easily during shipping.

Carrying case and stand

iVapo Nintendo Switch case

Even if you purchase the handheld-only Nintendo Switch Lite, you’re going to need a carrying case when transporting the system in order to prevent scuffs and cracks. The carrying case can also hold your charger, an HDMI cable, and other accessories, which is perfect if you’re taking it over to someone else’s home.

A standard Nintendo Switch carrying case costs about $20 and contains room for the system with Joy-Con controllers attached, as well as a selection of physical games. This is a good option if you are commuting and don’t need all of your accessories. “Travel” cases cost about $40, but come with slots to hold your dock, controller, and accessories as well. Everything will stay secure, despite the extra space inside the case.

The Switch Lite is smaller, and as such, most accessories made for the Switch will not fit it — including cases. The same companies that made the larger cases have designed several options for Switch Lite. They tend to cost around the same price.

You’ll also want to get a tabletop stand for your system. A very flimsy kickstand is built into the larger Nintendo Switch by default, but it can pop off and cause your system to fall. These dedicated stands from brands like Hori can be purchased for between $10 and $15, or a little more if you need USB capability.


Switch Pro Controller

The regular Nintendo Switch comes with two Joy-Con controllers by default, along with a Joy-Con grip that you can use to play games to make it like you’re using a traditional gamepad. It isn’t an ideal solution, however, and to play games with a more standard controller, you’ll need to get the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller for around $70. Its sticks and buttons are larger than those of the Joy-Cons, and it features a standard directional pad.

If you are playing a game like Super Mario Party, everyone will need their own Joy-Con controller. Packs of two cost $80. If you want four to play with the Switch Lite in tabletop mode, that costs $160.


Link hero shot | The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening review

Once you have your system and accessories, it’s time to buy what you bought the Nintendo Switch for in the first place: Games! Retail games on Nintendo Switch cost the industry standard $60 in most cases, with certain titles priced more cheaply. You’ll also find less-expensive games on the Nintendo eShop, and certain retailers like Walmart often price new games at about $50.

What separates Nintendo’s games from PS4 and Xbox One, however, is that the prices stay the same for a very long time. It can take years before a game’s price reduces, and even Black Friday usually doesn’t offer that many discounts on Nintendo games. Nintendo does run sales on its eShop, though it’s rare you’ll find a major game released within the last year on one of these.

Nintendo Switch Online

You now need to pay a fee in order to access online multiplayer gaming. At $20 per year, it’s cheaper than Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus, each of which cost about $60 a year. It also includes access to save data in the cloud, as well as a game vault of NES and SNES titles that contain online multiplayer and other new features.

What is the total cost?

Breaking down the total cost of owning a Nintendo Switch, you’ll be paying significantly more than just the $200 or $300 price of the console.

For the standard system, with a 256GB MicroSDXC card, carrying case, screen protector, Pro Controller, two extra Joy-Con controllers, Nintendo Switch Online subscription, and stand, your total cost will be about $550 — before purchasing a single game.

For the Switch Lite, four Joy-Con controllers, a 256GB MicroSDXC card, a Pro Controller, Nintendo Switch Online subscription, case, screen protector, and stand, you’re looking at about $525 before buying any games.

Also, if you’re wondering if the Nintendo Switch is worth it, read our review on Nintendo Switch.

Editors' Recommendations

How to connect a PS5 controller to a PC
playstation 5 controller ps5

The PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller is one of the biggest leaps in controller design ever, adding advanced haptic feedback to Sony’s new console. For games that take full advantage of it, like Astro’s Playroom, the effect it has on the play experience can be truly game-changing. Like most other console controllers, the DualSense can also be used to play games on PC, though without the full benefit of features like variable-resistance triggers.

For those who want to get a little more mileage out of their DualSense, here’s how to connect the PS5 controller to a PC. While the good news is that the DualSense works just like any other controller on a PC, the bad news is that, well, the DualSense works just like any other controller. It may lack the PS5-specific features that make it such a standout when connected to a PC, but it’s also simple to set up and use, whether you want to connect using a USB cable or Bluetooth.
How to connect a PS5 controller to PC with USB
Connecting the PS5 controller to a PC with a USB cable will likely be the go-to option for most people, as it’s extremely easy to do and won’t run the risk of draining the DualSense’s battery during a play session. Just connect the DualSense to a USB-C to USB-A cable (like the one that comes with the PS5), and plug the other end into your PC. If your PC has a USB-C port, you can also use a regular USB-C cable. If you’re purchasing a new DualSense on its own, as opposed to using one that comes with the console, just be aware that it won’t come with its own cable.
How to connect a PS5 controller to PC with Bluetooth
If your computer has built-in Bluetooth capability or you have a separate Bluetooth adapter, you can also connect the DualSense wirelessly. The process is the same as connecting any wireless controller. Just hold the PS button and the Create button on the DualSense to start pairing. On your PC, navigate to the Bluetooth & Other Devices menu and click Add Bluetooth or other device, then select the Bluetooth option. When the connection is made, the PS5 controller will show up as Wireless Controller in the menu.
How to use a PS5 controller on PC with Steam
The major caveat to using a PS5 controller on PC is that not all games will recognize it natively. Fortunately, Valve added limited DualSense support to Steam almost as soon as the PS5 was released and is continuing to add features. All the Steam games with controller support are playable with the DualSense, and functions like motion controls, rumble, and the light bar should work just like they did for the PS4’s controller, though new features like adaptive triggers still aren’t working.

Read more
Counter-Strike 2 limited test: how to play, game modes, and more
Soldiers in Counter-Strike 2 key art.

After a few weeks of leaks and rumors, Valve has finally announced that Counter-Strike 2 will be launching this summer as a free update to CS:GO.

Valve is describing Counter-Strike 2 as an  “overhaul to every system, every piece of content, and every part of the C-S experience” and “the largest technical leap forward in Counter-Strike’s history," promising years of support for the game.

Read more
The best upcoming PS5 games: 2023 and beyond
John Cena art for WWE 2K23.

The PlayStation 5 has been out for some time now, and its reception has been mostly positive. It includes lots of quality-of-life improvements over its predecessor, the PlayStation 4, such as faster load times, a solid-state drive (SSD) instead of a regular hard disk drive (HDD), and an improved controller in the form of the new DualSense. However, a console is only as good as the games available on it, and thankfully, the PS5 has you covered on that front as well.

While the machine already has a worthy library of great PS5 games, there are even more to look forward to, with some releasing as soon as this month, while others are still years away. In the video game world, it's not uncommon to be aware of games that are still several years out from release. It's also normal for a new game to be revealed and launched within just a couple of months. In this comprehensive list, we'll go through the major PS5 releases scheduled for 2023 and speculate on future games.

Read more