Nintendo starts selling cheaper, dock-free Switch, but only in Japan

Nintendo fans in Japan now have the option of buying a cheaper Switch package that doesn’t include the accessories needed to connect the system to a TV. Marketed as a “2nd unit” Switch in a Google translated announcement, the new Switch package costs ¥24,980 (about $229), down from the ¥29,980 ($275) for the standard package.

For that lower price, Japanese consumers will miss out on the Switch dock, HDMI cable, and wall-outlet charger that come bundled in the standard package. The system itself can be charged by any number of standard USB-C accessories, though users may have to be careful of USB standards. If “Second Switch” buyers want to hook the Switch to a TV later on, they can use the same dock that came in the standard Switch package, purchase one à la carte from Nintendo, or use one of a number of cheaper third-party Switch dock options (which can vary widely in reliability).

Back in February, Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto said the company’s “ultimate ambition is for a Nintendo Switch to be owned not just by every family, but by every single person.” This package seems to be an explicit effort to help that process along by making it easier to set up a multi-Switch household with only a single TV dock.

Despite the “Second Switch” marketing, though, the cheaper package also seems ideal for solo players only interested in using the Switch as a portable console. That’s a market we’ve been urging Nintendo to cater to for well over a year. In a financial report last October, Nintendo revealed that about 30 percent of Switch owners “primarily” use the system in undocked mode, while less than 20 percent primarily use it hooked to a TV (and the remainder use both modes).

No word from Nintendo yet on whether similar dock-free Switch purchasing options will be offered outside of Japan. Still, we’re holding out hope that users worldwide could soon have a new, cheaper way to get into the Switch ecosystem.

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