Strange. I was mildly curious why Nintendo didn't try to knock the price down to $250 if Switch is using stock parts, but then I remembered this is the same Nintendo that is selling extra docks for $90 and couldn't be bothered to just include an Ethernet port.I wouldn't go as far as to say everything is stock or that there is nothing custom. The chip itself is stock, but there may be a lot of upfront capital expense on the software side of this thing. I don't think Nvidia marketing straight up lied about the number of man-years or that this thing is custom, and software is not cheap especially hardware drivers and SDK's.
If there's a silver lining, Nintendo could conceivably drop an X2 or X3 in a New/Pro model and/or successor and call it a day. Custom chips cost more and take time to develop. Still, this would only really help Nintendo because it wouldn't pass those savings to consumers.
I wouldn't and didn't either. When Nvidia stated, "The development encompassed 500 man-years of effort across every facet of creating a new gaming platform: algorithms, computer architecture, system design, system software, APIs, game engines and peripherals," it probably included its own in-house development before Nintendo was in the picture.
Using stock parts isn't necessarily a negative. There are pros and cons. I find it a little disappointing that Nintendo didn't price Switch more aggressively. $300 is okay, and I, personally, found it reasonable since I paid it. However, I thought $250 was the magic number for the general consumer. That's the price I think fence-sitters would have been more likely to commit. Nintendo isn't really feeling that now as Switch just launched.
Anyway, it's entirely possible and probable that we've seen the end of traditional generations. I can see Nintendo introducing a hardware update in 2019 with Nintendo abandoning support every other hardware release. That means, you would have to upgrade at least every four years for full compatibility with the latest software releases. To compare, that's a little more generous than Apple which I think typically goes back three years (current plus previous two models) as far as updates go. The problem is most people use smartphones more than gaming devices. I wonder if Nintendo can succeed with this model. The point I'm trying to make is keeping the price down makes these kinds of hardware upgrades more palpable.
I mean, I'll probably upgrade every time because I'm an asshole when it comes to Nintendo hardware. I'm the outlier though.