Update: January 9, 6:08 PST
Editor’s Note: This story was updated to include the presentation Nintendo plans to do on January 12 revealing information previously reported to be announced on January 13. These two dates coalesced into one when they are, in fact, two separate announcements. The story continues below.
On January 5, Nintendo of America took to Twitter to announce an announcement: Friday, January 13 the company will broadcast a Treehouse Live event with the Nintendo Switch. The company also intends to hold a presentation the day before on Thursday, January 12 in Tokyo — which will be livestreamed globally at a currently unspecified time — to officially reveal the price, launch lineup, and release date of the highly anticipated console-handheld hybrid. As typical with Nintendo, these broadcasts will be in Japanese with English voice-overs, and the Treehouse Live presentation can be viewed on both Nintendo’s official North American and European sites, as well as Japan via YouTube, and Twitch. The Treehouse Live presentation will go live at 9:30 a.m. EST (6:30 a.m. PST).
There have been a lot of rumors surrounding the Nintendo Switch. From getting a boost in power when docked to using SD Cards for storage to Skyrim purportedly running on the console, the Switch is, for all intents and purposes, still a mystery. One thing is for certain, though: it shouldn’t cost more than the Wii U.
As it currently stands, the Wii U costs $299 USD new and $249 USD used, the same prices as when it first launched back in November 2012. Looking at current sales figures, as of September 2016, the Wii U has sold an approximate total of 13 million units, with nearly two million of those sales happening in the first six weeks of its release. That sounds impressive, but if you compare that number to every other Nintendo console to date (e.g. the 3DS sold 62 million, the Wii sold 102 million, the DS sold 154 million, and so on), it’s evident the Wii U is a failing console.
Since Nintendo has officially stopped production on the dying system, the Wii U is incredibly difficult to find brand new. This could mean that Nintendo plans to substitute the Wii U with the Switch and give their audience exactly what they’ve wanted: games. The Wii U had some compelling games — Splatoon, Super Mario Maker, Bayonetta 2, et al. — but those were either console exclusives (Splatoon), exist because of Nintendo (Bayonetta), or came out at the fleeting end of the Wii U’s lifespan (Paper Mario Color Splash). It didn’t help that a good amount of Wii U titles were ported over to the 3DS as well, a system that invariably more people owned (again, approximately 62 million compared to 13 million, an estimated 80 percent difference in player ownership).
Nintendo has already started marketing the Switch vastly different in comparison to its marketing with the Wi U. Back in 2011, when the Wii U was initially revealed, the company seemed confused, as if they themselves didn’t know what the Wii U was. This time around, however, Nintendo seems to have a better grasp of its console and is marketing it accordingly. The price is ultimately the deciding factor, and if it comes out more expensive than the Wii U — a failing system Nintendo didn’t seem to care too much about — the company may have a hard time convincing people who own PS4s and Xbox Ones to purchase. Mario and Link can only adventure for so long before needing a break.
You can watch the reveal trailer again below.