L.A. Noire will cost $10 more on the Nintendo Switch than the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One due to what has become known as the “Switch Tax.” The increase in cost comes from the fact that putting a game on the Nintendo Switch’s cartridges costs more than it does to burn it onto Blu-ray. That additional cost is then seen in the sales price when the game releases. Publishers have handled this in different ways, some only release the game digitally, others absorb the costs, RiME publisher Grey Box even added physical purchase incentives and some, like Take-Two, reflect the additional cost to the players.
How much more does putting a game on the Nintendo Switch cost? If you are putting your game on a 32GB cartridge then it costs 60% more than putting it on a 50GB Blu-ray which the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One utilises. You can of course try and bring the costs down by making your game under 8GB. Unfortunately for Rockstar and Take-Two, the Xbox 360 version gives insight into how big L.A. Noire is with a base game download of almost 7GB plus the four case files which ranged between 200MB and 500MB each. Then take the updates to the game to make it look prettier and run better and you are well over the smaller 8GB Nintendo Switch cartridges.
It isn’t all doom and gloom though and there is some kind of silver lining for Switch owners. L.A. Noire isn’t going to launch at AAA title prices, instead, it is set to launch for $39.99 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One meaning the Nintendo Switch version will be $49.99, less than the $59.99 AAA pricing.
L.A. Noire launches for PC with HTC Vive, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on the 14th November while the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions are available now.