The Nintendo Switch was first revealed via a three-minute trailer posted to YouTube on October 20, 2016. Seven years later, Nintendo has pushed the video to private, reigniting fans’ excitement for a much anticipated announcement of the Switch 2, and also destroying an important piece of history in the process.
The disappearance was first noticed on the gaming forum ResetEra, where users joked about what it might mean, including if a Switch 2 reveal might now be imminent. That, sadly, seems very unlikely, given Nintendo’s repeated insistence that it won’t have any new hardware to discuss until the start of its next fiscal year in April 2024. The company also has two big games left to sell this year: Super Mario Bros. Wonder and Super Mario RPG Remake. Nintendo doesn’t usually like to steal the spotlight away from one product by surprise-announcing another.
The original 2016 Switch reveal was notable for a bunch of reasons. Unlike the Wii U, which got the full red carpet rollout at E3 2011, Nintendo relied on a single YouTube trailer to get everyone excited for its successor. Instead of executives describing all of the new handheld hybrid console’s functions in detail, fans got to see a video of the device in action, showing both people playing alone in their living rooms, and sitting around picnic tables at night by the basketball court.
The video highlighted the Switch as a machine for portability and sociability, epitomized by the now infamous scene of hipsters playing Super Mario Odyssey at a rooftop party in the city. It eventually garnered over 50 million views. Here’s a re-upload of it by Gamespot:
So why did Nintendo remove it all of the sudden? Is the company trying to get old marketing out of the way so a similarly-named Switch 2 doesn’t have to compete with it in the algorithmic SEO abyss of the modern internet? Or did it simply decline to renew the licensing rights for the White Denim song used in the trailer? That’s usually the reason why video game marketing materials get delisted from YouTube, though it’s not completely clear why Nintendo would abandon the most recognizable commercial for a console that’s still selling millions of units a year, especially heading into the 2023 holiday season.
Nintendo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Switch has been an unexpected boon for Nintendo, catapulting it from talk of a desperate merger with other tech companies following the failure of the Wii U, back into contention for being the maker of the number one gaming platform in terms of first-party exclusives, convenience, affordability, and just plain fun. Many see the Switch reveal as not just a flashy ad, but an important piece of the company’s legacy and gaming history more generally.
“Nintendo should take the steps to ensure the Switch reveal video stays on their channels forever,” tweeted former head of social content for Nintendo of America, Kit Ellis. “They may disagree, but it is an important piece of video game history. It’s time for a mindset shift on things like this now that their official museum is on the way.”
As for what this means about the impending announcement of the Switch 2, or whatever Nintendo ends up calling its next console, it seems clear one way or another that the company is finally gearing up for the upcoming reveal. Multiple reports of Switch 2 developer kits at Gamescom proved Nintendo’s next hardware is already being shown behind closed doors to development partners. Even if the official announcement is still several months off, more leaks seem inevitable at this point. Hopefully, whatever the Switch 2 is capable of, whether it’s 4K resolution or backwards compatibility, we can still party with it on the rooftop.
Correction 10/18/2023 11:12 a.m. ET: The song used in the original Switch reveal trailer was not by Imagine Dragons.