Red Dead Redemption Switch
Image: Rockstar

$49.99. That's Rockstar's asking price if you want to jump on the critically lauded Red Dead Redemption on Switch from 17th August. £39.99 if you're in the UK — that's for the digital version, although there is a physical release in the works for October.

Yep, it'll cost you 50 bucks to get many a gamer's GOTY 2010 on Nintendo's console some 13 years after its PS3 and Xbox 360 debut. Following the surprise announcement (albeit one that's been rumoured for a while), some gamers' eyebrows have been raised by the cost of entry for this Switch port of a 13-year-old game. Is $50 unreasonable to play Red Dead on Switch?

The version of the game coming to Switch (and, incidentally, PS4) is described as "a new conversion" and will include the Undead Nightmare expansion, plus content from the Game of the Year Edition, "and more." It'll certainly be a chunky package for anybody who hasn't played Red Dead before. Both the PS3 and 360 versions stand with a Metascore of 95, so, at least from a critical perspective, there's no doubt that this is an all-timer worthy of your attention.

However, any Switch-owning Rockstar fans will be wary of getting too excited following 2021's Grand Theft Auto Trilogy 'Definitive Edition'. Indeed, rumours circulated that planned remasters of both Red Dead and GTA IV had been scrapped thanks to the poor critical reception of the GTA collection. That game launched in a terrible state, and while things have improved over time and it didn't seem to hurt sales figures, it still falls well short of the standard you'd expect for genre-defining classics like GTA III, Vice City, and San Andreas.

It's not like Rockstar is hurting for funds, either, so to release a product in such a bad state — not to mention having the gall to call it 'Definitive' — quite rightly dented many a fan's confidence in a firm that prides itself on taking its sweet time and delivering quality video games when they're ready and not before. British studio Double Eleven, who helped bring Songbringer and Minecraft Dungeons to Switch, is working on this port (Grove Street Games handled the GTA Trilogy).

It's telling, perhaps, that Rockstar didn't include this announcement in the June Nintendo Direct presentation. It's certainly big enough news to stand on its own two feet without Nintendo's support — why share the stage with a bunch of other games? Then again, given the negative reception to the GTA Trilogy, perhaps the publisher was keen to keep the speculation to a minimum regarding the quality of this port. The game is launching just next week (the GTA Trilogy was officially announced over a month before launch), so at least we won't have long to wait to find out. It seems unimaginable that Rockstar would launch Red Dead in such a state.

So, let's for one moment give ol' R* the benefit of the doubt and imagine that the Red Dead Redemption Switch port is not only entirely serviceable but honours the prestige of the original release and the intent of the developers with an accurate rendition that captures the game's original magic and majesty. Let's imagine it plays as well as the backward-compatible Xbox version (which you can still purchase digitally for $29.99, albeit without the Undead Nightmare content), just at a lower resolution. Would you pay $50 to play it on Switch?

Red Dead Redemption Switch
Image: Rockstar

It's tough to argue that this isn't one of the most significant, beloved games of the last couple of decades, so of course the publisher is going to charge top dollar for it. However, all signs point to this being a straight port of the game with few bells and whistles beyond the bare minimum you'd expect. This is no remake or remaster or enhanced 'Deluxe' version — and you're not even getting the upscaled 4K visuals that caused a commotion when the game came to Xbox Series X via backward compatibility. Multiplayer is also not included in this version.

From our perspective, the price is certainly not unexpected, but Rockstar has some goodwill to regain after the GTA Trilogy debacle. If it's charging top whack for this out of the gate, it better be an immaculate port or there'll surely be trouble in the ranks.

Financially speaking, there is zero incentive for the company to launch this before it's good and ready — especially with the physical edition scheduled for an October release. You would hope that this date and this price speaks of confidence in the product. But you'd have been forgiven for thinking that last time, too, and look what happened.

So, then. $50 for Red Dead on Switch. Are you in or out?

Will you be paying $50 for Read Dead Redemption on Switch?

Played Red Dead before? Will the Switch version be your first time in John Marston's boots? Can Rockstar redeem itself with this port? Let us know your thoughts on this one below.