Why is the Nintendo Switch so expensive in Malaysia? (including OLED)
Every Nintendo release to date has always been exciting, from the 3DS days right up to now, where the Nintendo Switch holds dear in our hearts as a portable console that won’t ever get boring. It’s been quite the buzz too, with the Nintendo Switch OLED being released as a mild refresh for the semi-aging V2 Enhanced Edition. We saw the global announcements, and WOW! it costs USD $ 349! (aka RM 1459.45). That’s…reasonable I suppose. I wonder how much is it going to cost to get this thing into my home in Malaysia?
Nintendo in Singapore via MaxSoft
Oh, we’ve heard this name before, for both sweet and bitter reasons. MaxSoft is the sole representative and distributor for all things Nintendo for Singapore and neighboring SEA regions. They are the ones responsible for the import, sales and after sales service for your Nintendo products for the longest time, which is pretty much the role of a distributor anyway. But are they Nintendo? NO. They just have the rights to REPRESENT and DISTRIBUTE Nintendo products, along with what territories and regions they’re allowed to allocate stock to.
When the price in Singapore has been announced, their (Maxsoft) official Lazada page listed a SGD $ 549 price tag (RM 1690). That’s more than RM 200 above the price in the US, and slightly even more than the price in Japan (Yen 37980 = RM 1398). So from here we can already see that the price bump comes in RM 200 and above increments.
In Malaysia, we’re seeing prices ranging from RM 1899 and climbing! That’s another RM 200 jump in price!
What gives? what are these weird bumps? Let’s dive into theories.
The pandemic, logistics costs and taxation
Literally every business has been affected by the pandemic, and its caused freight containers to cost an all time high, and on top of that are additional costs such as warehouse, transportation and local taxes (if applicable). But here’s the thing, as a distributor, all products have cost prices set by the principle (which would be Nintendo), and it is up to the distributor to factor in the above costs to create a final price in which customers at the storefront pay for. The gap here would be video game stores / dealers, who would pay a dealer’s price for the Switches before selling them at the retail price for a profit (that’s how business works).
The real question is, which region are our Switches coming from? because that would determine the real cost price. IF in example they’re straight from China or Japan that are printed to localized english packaging, then the cost price would be marginally below RM 1398 (the retail price in Japan). Either way, our packaging has stickers and prints showing specifically that they are for the Malaysian market.
Time to answer quick questions
I saw a dealer/store selling a Nintendo Switch OLED for RM 1899 and ABOVE. Are they trying to make a quick profit and are low-key scalping? Answer : No, the cost set by Maxsoft is still within that range (confirmed information), and dealers are NOT making an easy RM 200 and above off your desperation for the latest Nintendo Switch. DO NOT EVER BLAME DEALERS FOR THIS.
So, if Maxsoft is setting that range, why is it so expensive? if the SGD retail price is RM 1699, then the cost price would surely be lower than that! Is Maxsoft purposely beefing up the price on purpose? Answer: We’ve actually got a Nintendo insider to comment and check the facts. This is what they had to say : ” Standard retail prices set by Nintendo Singapore are only for Singapore alone. I took a look at the cost prices offered for the bundles and minus the cost of the other systems, pre-tax I think it’s in alignment with usual distribution margin. It’s just the shipping cost that inflated the price. That’s because shipping costs vary from region to region, and the volume also plays a part as well. The price will eventually drop post-launch because they will not have to rush it in. Maybe the only exploitation is the force bundling but this happens everywhere not just SEA”
Quick lesson : Force Bundling = Distributor will only sell the OLED to you if you bundle it with other systems. i.e every Nintendo Switch OLED you buy you have to buy an Enhanced V2 Switch as well.
You buy 5 OLED, you gotta buy 5 Enhanced Editions too. Total you bring in 10 Switches.
3. Is there anything we can do to set this straight? It’s actually expensive. Answer: We can’t. With no REAL Nintendo presence here, we are all subject to the price set by the distributors. We can only either hope that Nintendo Office from other regions can catch wind of this and adjust or normalize regional prices.
4. Is it bad if I want to buy a Switch from another country? Answer: We understand why anyone would do this. It’s to save money. If you’re concerned about losing your warranty, we’d say it won’t make a difference. Even if you did damage your Maxsoft Switch, you’ll still pay for repairs that the distributor offers. You might not even get a new replacement unit if anything happens. The Switch is actually an easily repairable portable, and you will be able to order parts in yourself and get it fixed. If you prefer someone else to fix it for you, there are plenty of skilled individuals all over the country that can repair it for a fee (see? the outcome is still the same, you still need to pay for repairs).
At this point, give your game stores a break. They’re not doing anything wrong, as their dealer prices are set to that range. Are we to blame Maxsoft on this? Absolutely. For now. They factor in costs for shipping, but based on the info given, it will take a while before we see prices drop due to launch rush.