During an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot indicated that Nintendo had advised the French publisher to wait to release the sequel to 2017’s Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle until the Nintendo Switch’s successor was available. This was advice Ubisoft ultimately ignored, as Sparks of Hope launched in December 2022 to strong reviews but lackluster sales.
Ubisoft confirmed earlier this year that Sparks of Hope had not achieved the financial success the company expected and Guillemot offered an interesting explanation for its underwhelming launch. While the rising cost of living for many households was mooted as a potential factor, Guillemot suggests that the game was actually released too early, which hurt its sale potential the most.
“We had already released a Mario Rabbids game [on Switch], so by doing another we had two similar experiences on one machine. On Nintendo, games like this never die. There are 25 Mario games on Switch. Nintendo [has advised] that it's better to do one iteration on each machine. We were a bit too early, we should have waited for [the next console],” said Guillemot.
This certainly suggests that publishers such as Ubisoft are at least somewhat aware of Nintendo’s plans for the inevitable follow-up to the best-selling Switch console. And, if Ubisoft, were advised to hold the release of Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope for that successor by Nintendo itself, it stands to reason that the hardware’s launch is at least somewhat imminent.
Nevertheless, don’t expect to see a Switch 2 reveal this year, as Nintendo recently announced it had no plans to release any hardware in its current fiscal year, which runs through March 2024. This would suggest likely won’t hear anything official about the Switch 2 for a while yet. However, there is the possibility that Nintendo could announce the console within the next six months and then launch it sometime after March 2024.
Meanwhile, Nintendo has confirmed its next Nintendo Direct presentation will take place today (Wednesday, June 21), which has sparked online speculation that the showcase could offer the first tangible details about the Nintendo Switch 2. But this seems unlikely as live streamed has already been confirmed to be “focused mainly on Nintendo Switch titles launching this year, including new details on Pikmin 4.”
The interest and anticipation surrounding the Nintendo Switch 2 is definitely ramping up. And with Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom predicted by some to act as the current Switch’s swansong, it may not be too much longer before Nintendo begins talking about what comes next. In fact, Guillemot’s comments may suggest major publishers are already aware of Nintendo's future plans. Fingers crossed, that news is relayed to us regular folk soon.