Japanese teardown firm goes into greater detail on Switch pricing, sees possibility for upgraded dock

The following info comes from Japanese teardown firm Fomalhaut...

- Switch tablet and dock cost is about $167
- the two Joy-Con cost roughly $90
- since each Joy-Con contains twenty small parts, those contribute to the expenses
- the HD Rumble vibration motor might be made by Alps Electric
- Switch’s main circuit board has an unknown big IC in its lower section
- on the reverse side of the IC, there is a connector which goes to the cart slot
- either the IC conducts certification of the game card or is involved with saving
- the see the possibility of an enhanced dock which contains a dedicated VR/AR processing unit or extra large storage
- has a next-gen power delivery unit and it is capable of receiving a maximum of 100W (20V/5A) using USB PD.
- this is possible because of ROHM’s power receive / delivery controller IC “BM92T36”
- it can raise the USB-C power receive / delivery capability from standard 3V / 7.5W to 5V / 100W
- in the disassembled dock circuit board, you can see that the USB Type-C power delivery part is made by ROHM
- it has a sealing “M92T36”, but the actual name is “BM92T17”
- the Switch tablet is thicker than most tables due to radiation and battery precautions
- it has a 5.8mm thickness and is thicker than standard laptop or tablet battery
- it seems Nintendo made the important parts around the battery thicker to make it possible to charge while staying safe

Categories: Top Stories, Consoles
Tags: switch


Top Rated Comment
Sun Apr 09 17 06:53am
Rating: 6 (Updated 1 time)

"the two Joy-Con cost roughly $90 "

That right there should show you just how little clue this firm has: There is absolutely zero chance Nintendo is selling its Joy-Con at a loss when selling them separately from the console, so the figure above is, without any doubt in my mind, simply wrong. A pair of Joy-Con cost less than $90 to manufacture, and probably quite a bit less actually.

I'd say the same could probably be applied to most of the costs these guys are applying to various Switch components above.

So basically, the gimmicks on the Joy-cons made the console needlessly more expensive... noted.

Sun Apr 09 17 06:47am
(Updated 1 time)

Yep. More disappointing is that it's hard to see the HD rumble or the IR sensor being anything game changing. HD rumble is cool but worth the price hike? I'm not so sure. The IR sensor will go totally under utilised and what it will be used for will be gimmicky at best...at least that's my prediction. I'd love to be proven wrong but as it stands, if they could have reduced the price of the package in any significant way by just including gyroscopes/traditional rumble/NFC as the added functionality of the Joy Cons I'd have been fine with that. The concept of the Switch is strong enough on its own without needing needless extras.

I think the rumble could be pretty cool and get some use if it's really as good as Nintendo claims. But I think the IR sensor seems like almost a total and utter waste, and a cost on the consumer end that really wasn't needed. This is not like the Wiimote's pointer, where it was fundamental to the experience and actually one of its best features.

I actually hated the Wiimote, but I'll agree that feature saturation is not needed. The console is portable. That is all it needs to be messaged as.

I hated waggle, but I utterly loved the pointer functionality of the Wiimote; it was brilliant for menu navigating, arcade style gun shooting games, and even aiming intuitively in fps games. So, there was a lot to like about the Wiimote, but the forced waggle in so many games, games that almost always would have been better without it, certainly wasn't one of those things.

Yeah, portability should have been its sole focus.

Sun Apr 09 17 12:12pm
Rating: 1

Maybe, but at least Nintendo can ditch the Joycons for something else should they end up being a detriment, unlike with the Wii U where the gamepad was the albatross around its neck.

Personally, I think the joycons kinda suck in anything but an on-the-go scenario. They're too damn small and awkward.... pricey to boot. Thank god for the pro controller.

Yep. I even carry one with me in a box. I just wish Nintendo gave us a way to deactivate controller detection temporarily.

The pro controller is probably the best controller Nintendo has made in years. My only gripes are with the placement of the plus and minus buttons, there's no headphone/mic jack and I prefer the analog sticks to be arranged dual shock style.

Yeah, I think I personally would've liked a headphone jack as well. I'm not sure how much battery drain that would be, but it'd be worth it to be able to plug in my headphones into the controller

I think I prefer the Dual Shock style analog sticks too, but I am 100% okay with this asymmetric style too

The lack of a headphone jack is the biggest wart. The others simply require some time adapting to.

I'm more of a gamecube controller guy, but I found the Pro serviceable.

I really loved the GameCube controller too but it had a few problems that hurt it in the long run, such the poor dpad and having fewer buttons than competing controllers.

True, it is part of why I like the ProCube a lot for Wii U. Highly recommend it.

Oddly enough, I find the Joy-Cons to be extremely comfortable to the point that I play them both separated as my go to control choice for Zelda. I like the Pro controller a lot, but find it to be a little big, with the WiI U Pro Controller still being my favorite.

Of course, I also have small to medium sized hands, whatever that may mean.

Sun Apr 09 17 06:53am
Rating: 6 (Updated 1 time)

"the two Joy-Con cost roughly $90 "

That right there should show you just how little clue this firm has: There is absolutely zero chance Nintendo is selling its Joy-Con at a loss when selling them separately from the console, so the figure above is, without any doubt in my mind, simply wrong. A pair of Joy-Con cost less than $90 to manufacture, and probably quite a bit less actually.

I'd say the same could probably be applied to most of the costs these guys are applying to various Switch components above.

Sun Apr 09 17 03:03pm
Rating: 4

This is true for virtually any teardown, though. All hardware tear downs do is look at the individual costs for components, without considering any of the other logistics usually involved in mass production. That being true here isn't particularly surprising. But that doesn't mean this firm has no clue, nor does it mean this cost breakdown has no merit (yes, I realize you didn't explicitly say the latter, but that's the vibe I'm getting here).

This, at the very least, confirms that a pair of joycons are pretty expensive as far as controllers go, and does a lot to justify the high price tag from Nintendo's standpoint. While it's unlikely these things are being sold at a loss, I think there is a strong possibility they are being sold at cost, or at least at a very slim profit margin for Nintendo.

These teardowns don't take into account special deals companies forge with manufacturers to reduce component costs. They also ignore the cost of manufacturing, shipment, r&d, advertisement, and retail profit margins. These are only ever meant to be ballpark estimates that aspects these firms have no way of knowing.

Sun Apr 09 17 06:32pm
(Updated 1 time)

I'd speculate the literally manufacturing cost of a single Joy-Con is probably about half of the price those guys quoted above. And, while there's other things that would be included in calculating how much to charge for the final product—that's stuff like packaging, covering some of the R&D costs, covering some of the advertising, and whatever else—I still think it could be sold for at least ten dollars less than what it's going for right now and still make Nintendo a profit. But, I'm totally guessing random figures in my head—all I know is I don't believe the figures above are accurate for one second, and I think it's disingenuous to basically make the masses believe the end cost of these controllers is totally reasonable due to a fallacy that it basically costs that much to make them. Nintendo is overcharging consumers for Joy-Con as far as I'm concerned, and that's what we should be reporting; we shouldn't be giving fanboys or Nintendo itself more fake ammo to defend its practices. That, however, it just my take on the whole situation.

With the possibility of a more powerful dock (that could nicely run VR games), I can see how they wanted to implement HD Rumble into the Joy-Cons.

Sun Apr 09 17 08:59am
(Updated 1 time)

The screen on the Switch is bot good enough for VR, so they will most probably deliver it via an add-on. Your comment makes a lot of sense here. BUT! It would take away the mobile part of the Switch which is it's big selling point. Bit who wants to play VR on the buss anyway (apart from a drunk me)?

Haven't played that much 1-2 switch, but people say the HD rumbleads immensivity, soI am sure it could be used well in actual games (really annoying that Zelda does not have it). It's pretty nice on RMX though.

I don't know if VR not being portable is a valid issue. The system would have to easily Switch from VR mode, to portable mode, to TV mode. The consoles main hook is the idea of switching between playstyles.

But it's still the "play snywhere" theme theh sre pushing. I agree with you, and I sm sure Nintendo will find very user friendly creative wat to make it happen, but will lose a bit of their own slogan.

You are right. But remember that the upgrade is on the dock part of the system. You really can't wear the tablet on your face or go mobile like that.

Who knows what wizardry Nintendo is planning for VR part of it.

As i wrote above, I am sure they will make it inteesting ;)

While I think the $257 estimate could be accurate for the whole package, I really doubt Nintendo would be selling the Joycons at a loss.

It's interesting to see that they could increase the Switch's power through an upgraded dock, although I don't see that happening for several years if at all. Same thing with VR.

Some comments here act like they personally have been paid to do this research lol Maybe the Joy-Cons aren't $90 to manufacture but it wouldn't be surprising if they were rather expensive considering their retail price.

Nintendo made a good call when they left the option open to do an upgrade VS. a brand new system such as the PS4 Pro or the Xbox Scorpio. The PS4 Pro doesn't seem to have fragmented their business but the Xbox Scorpio has a lot of potential to do so. I predict that Nintendo will leave the option open for 4K when it gets a larger share of the HDTV market but will be very careful to make sure that they don't kill the golden goose in the process by alienating early adopters..

If it does happen I think it'd be years down the road, probably when the regular PS4/XB1 get thrown in the rug in favour of the Pro and Scorpio.

A badly thought out addon could end up being disastrous like the 32X.

Thinkbthey will go the Apple and New 3DS-3DS route. Having an upgrade but can still play the old games with ease. You can't use the dock on the go


Today's VIP

varking's avatar
Joined: March 2018

Social Services

Want to join this discussion?

You should like, totally log in or sign up!