Nintendo Switch Dock Costs $90 but Appears Awfully Empty

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Megalith, May 25, 2017.

  1. Megalith

    Megalith 24-bit/48kHz Staff Member

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    There seems to be some commotion about what the inside of a Nintendo Switch dock looks like: as you can see, it’s pretty empty, aside from the relatively small circuit board. I don’t think PCB size is supposed to indicate value or anything, but that hasn’t stopped a large group of people from complaining about it. The peripheral doesn’t feel premium, they say, but did anyone really expect more out of Toytendo?

    The console comes with one, obviously, but if you travel a lot and want to bring another one with you, or simply want an extra one for the office etc., you’ll have to buy the standalone version. This item costs $90, or £80 in the UK, and it doesn’t feel like the components inside justify the price. The inside of the Nintendo Switch dock includes a single circuit board. It’s very small, tucked away in the corner, and handles everything the dock does. All connectors are attached to it, leaving the rest of the dock empty. There’s obviously the springs attached to the USB port inside, but the dock overall doesn’t have a premium feel to it.
     
  2. Trimlock

    Trimlock [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Nintendo has never once used the insides to justify the components price. They are based purely on experience and price their stuff according to how they feel the market would react to the experience.

    This is one of the reasons why Nintendo is void of third party stuff. They don't want to compete in price, which gives them huge margins.
     
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  3. scojer

    scojer 2[H]4U

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    It'll only be a matter of time until Deal Extreme has a knockoff.
     
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  4. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Jesus, you almost gave me a heart attack with this news! I had to verify my self.

    $90 actually equals £70. So that's means Americans are getting a good deal.
     
  5. tom_ozahoski

    tom_ozahoski Limp Gawd

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    Fixed
     
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  6. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    On a serious note, the size of the dock and the size of the PCB are two separate things.

    The dock needs to be a certain size to do its job and there is no reason in making a big PCB when everything is so integrated now-a-days.

    Think about laptops and tablets. The electronics can be tiny, but you are still stuck with a physical form factor.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Gigus Fire

    Gigus Fire 2[H]4U

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    Crap that's just the dock? The dock only has like power and connections. Who cares about it's insides.
     
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  8. J3RK

    J3RK [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Well, it is called a "dock", and not a "computation unit" or "display enhancement device" or some other description that would indicate that it had more going on inside. Honestly, I'm surprised it has THAT much circuitry in it. I figured it would be a chunk of plastic, maybe a tiny IC for power management, and some connectors.
     
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  9. SPARTAN VI

    SPARTAN VI [H]ardness Supreme

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    I wonder how viable a DIY alternative would be. I don't have a switch or know the specs on the dock connections, but I imagine it should/could be a job for a RPi? The shell looks like something even a CAD novice like myself can design in something like TinkerCAD, then simply 3D print it.
     
  10. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Well items are not priced on manufacturing costs. They're priced where they can still sell them. I've had some experience in sales. I know what it means to have a 800% margin on things.
     
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  11. Viper16

    Viper16 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I am in sales...I totally understand you charge what the market bears...we do it because on the backside we do so much pro bono it helps balance things out. We have to practically give away equipment near cost and rely on the parts business +5 years down the road. Sometimes that equipment is in the +$100K's of dollars that we only have 2-3% margin.
     
  12. Cali3350

    Cali3350 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I mean, it does have a USB-C power regulator and a HDMI Converter in there, let alone the USB-C dock itself. I wouldn't be shocked if the dock costs a cool ~$35 to make. Selling it at $100 for a add-on accessory (remember you get one with the console) doesnt seem as egregious to me as it does to others.
     
  13. J3RK

    J3RK [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I didn't think about the HDMI conversion, so add that part to my comment above. I think just parts-wise, sure, it's not worth a terribly huge amount of money, but people don't often factor in the development of a given item, industrial design, prototyping, manufacturing, etc. They see a piece of plastic with a handful of ICs and think "I could make that". Maybe they could make one, but I think after they start looking at prototyping, hours in CAD software, hours in schematic design and PCB layout, ordering several sets of prototypes when you realize you forgot something, or a fix needs to be applied, and then maybe your fix requires another fix, working with manufacturers, they'd be pretty happy with the cost of the retail unit. :D Not to mention developing for a small batch with no real volume discounting...
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2017
  14. ir0nw0lf

    ir0nw0lf [H]ardness Supreme

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    There will always be at least one person who will complain about something. I don't really see where there is room for complaining here. (er no pun intended with the room remark)
     
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  15. J3RK

    J3RK [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Agree! Armchair hardware developers. :D
     
  16. Simmonz

    Simmonz 2[H]4U

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    I simply assumed console users knew they were being ripped of constantly. They don't ?
     
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  17. Youn

    Youn [H]ardness Supreme

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    I think nintendo patented it so nobody else but them can make a dock... please I hope I'm wrong... actually I don't really care...
     
  18. Spidey329

    Spidey329 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Components inside do not set the price, the demand sets the price.

    If people are willing to pay $90 for a $5 component, then it can be said the value of that component in that configuration is $90.

    This is why companies often use DRM, patents, or proprietary chips / software / connectors to monopolize their accessory market. They can closely control the market value that way by limiting others.
     
  19. -PK-

    -PK- [H]ard|Gawd

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    Same as the Nvidia Shield TV, most of the heft comes from added weights. The board itself is half the size of the small 2017 version, a little larger than a raspberry pi or about the same size as an intel NUC. It's nice to be alive where the electronics are smaller than the optimum design.
     
  20. Verge

    Verge [H]ardness Supreme

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    I mean honestly people, what the hell did you think was inside the dock????


    Open up a dell dock, guess what, it has a tiny single pcb in it as well. SURPRISE
     
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  21. scojer

    scojer 2[H]4U

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    Frogs.
     
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  22. BloodyIron

    BloodyIron 2[H]4U

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    I'd feel better about it if the docks didn't scratch the fucking screens. Seriously.
     
  23. Ocellaris

    Ocellaris Ginger @le, an alcoholic's best friend.

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    Every switch already comes with the dock. People figured out the dock was mostly empty on the initial launch, this is old information. But since it's Nintendo, it makes good click bait (like every Apple article).
     
  24. JamesfromDFW

    JamesfromDFW [H]Lite

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    They already have a 3D printed replacement option

     
  25. tikiman2012

    tikiman2012 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Way overpriced. I want to see a cost breakdown on the components of the board.
     
  26. Verge

    Verge [H]ardness Supreme

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    God what an idiot. Sits there staring at the ribbon cable for 5 minutes after bending it the wrong way.
     
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  27. nysmo

    nysmo Gawd

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    value is not intrinsically tied to cost. The question isnt "does the dock have $90 worth in parts in it" but rather "does the dock provide $90 worth of value to me?" I think the answer is yes, because people will pay this to connect a console to a TV. It's a little pricey but not absurdly so. It's a clean, elegant base station that instantly connects the switch to a TV and charges it as the same time. Seems worth $90 to me.
     
  28. Krazy925

    Krazy925 2[H]4U

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    If you bought it you made it worth $90 to Nintendo.
     
  29. Armenius

    Armenius I Drive Myself to the [H]ospital

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    A bare bones Raspberry Pi does a lot more than this dock does and it costs less than half the price...
     
  30. Tiberian

    Tiberian DILLIGAFuck

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    Apple has taught these Padawans well, it seems, on how to milk stupid consumers for all they're worth. Of course Apple learned this from Nike who years ago introduced the Nike Air line of tennis shoes, the marketing went something like this:

    Nike marketing rep: "We need something catchy, something new and fresh to sucker more unsuspecting consumers into spending a fuckton of cash on barely $4 worth of actual materials... what are some suggestions?"

    Nike designer: "Why don't we cut a whole in the sole of the shoe, and fill it with compressed air for pressure, then tell people it's air-cushioned and better for them. In the process, we can rake them over the coals with a significant cost increase, we use about 20% less raw materials in the soles 'cause, you know, BIG FUCKING HOLE THERE NOW, and compressed air is not even something the bean counters can work out to 15 places past the decimal point in terms of actual cost to us."

    Nike marketing rep:
    "BRILLIANT!!!"
    Nike engineer: "BRILLIANT!!!"
    Nike financial director: "BRILLIANT!!!"
    Nike company president: "BRILLIANT!!!"

    [​IMG]

    Not that difficult to sucker stupid consumers, not that difficult at all. :D
     
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  31. sir-gold

    sir-gold Gawd

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    It only has to be that big if you insist that the dock must actually hold (and almost completely encase) the tablet.

    There is no technical reason they couldn't make a mini-dock (the same size as the circuit board), that just connects to the switch tablet via a cable, saving costs in materials, packaging, and shipping.
     
  32. buzzbomb

    buzzbomb Gawd

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    A previous comment, for your perusal:

     
  33. sir-gold

    sir-gold Gawd

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    My point was, the lack of a mini-dock is an intentional choice (to waste our money on extra plastic, packaging and shipping, all marked up 10% by every hand it passes though), and not because it has to be any particular size.
     
  34. Uvaman2

    Uvaman2 2[H]4U

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    Yes of course, aesthetics and perception.
     
  35. MavericK

    MavericK Zero Cool

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    The problem isn't the physical space, but the fact that it's just an HDMI adapter and USB hub. Apparently, the data is encoded in such a way that you can't just use a generic adapter because... Fuck you, pay $90.

    I'd love to see a third-party one that is just a dongle for less than half the price.
     
  36. tikiman2012

    tikiman2012 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I can't see more than $20 for any kind of device with this functionality.