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Nintendo Makes Switch Dev Kits Cheaper To Attract Indie Developers

If you're an independent developer and you're hoping to get your games on Nintendo's latest console, today is your lucky day: at Japan's Game Creators Conference 2017, Nintendo announced that Switch development kits—special versions of the device that will run code written on other machines—will only cost developers 50,000 yen, or about $450.

Not only is that figure incredibly close to the Switch's $299 retail price, but it's about 80% cheaper than development kits for Nintendo's last console, the Wii U. As Digital Trends reports, rumors suggest that Wii U dev kits were priced at about $2,500, in line with similar hardware associated with the PlayStation 4.


Digital Trends asked Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail (the developer responsible for Ridiculous Fishing and Nuclear Throne) for his reaction to the news, and Ismail agrees that the low price "means more third parties, and mostly more small-to-middle-sized indies will have a chance at developing for Nintendo." Ismail also notes that opening the Switch up to as many developers as possible marks a radical shift for Nintendo, which has a reputation for being unfriendly towards third-party developers.

With the Switch, Nintendo looks like it's making a big push to attract indies. A number of big independent games, including Banjo-Kazooie's spiritual successor, Yooka-Laylee, the Harvest Moon-inspired farming game Stardew Valley, Shovel Knight, and more will debut on the Switch in the next few months.


In addition, Epic Games announced last week that its popular (and free) Unreal Engine will fully support the Nintendo Switch, making game development for Nintendo's latest console easier and cheaper than ever.

Consumers will be able to buy the Nintendo Switch on March 3, 2017, which, unlike the DOA Wii U, is shaping up to be a viable competitor to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.