Nintendo Is Up Next: Wii U Event on Tap Tomorrow

As other technology companies announce their product plans — including Apple’s new iPhone today and Amazon’s new tablets last week — now it’s Nintendo’s turn to talk about what it has in store for the holiday season.

The company will be streaming its Wii U event live tomorrow at 7 am PT.

In a video with Nintendo’s North American President Reggie Fils-Aime (flanked by Luigi and Mario), he invited customers to tune in to the company’s Facebook page to hear the announcements as they occur.

While Fils-Aime did not provide any hints, at this point everyone is waiting to hear two crucial details: When the Wii U will go on sale and how much it will cost.

The Wii U was first unveiled more than a year ago at E3, where Nintendo surprised the industry with the first tablet-size controller for a videogame console. The hardware also represents a nice upgrade from the current generation because it supports HD graphics and hardcore game play. It will be connected online to offer new social experiences, including video chat.

However, Nintendo is increasingly going head to head with a whole range of consumer electronics companies as other devices, from phones to MP3 players and tablets, are being used for gaming. Today, Apple claimed the iPod touch was the most popular portable game-playing device (presumably over the Nintendo DS portable game systems), and last week, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos said he was shocked by how many Kindle games they were selling.

The Wii U will emerge in a gaming landscape filled with uncertainties: Will a new device revive the struggling console gaming market? Will consumers continue to shift their gaming habits toward more personal devices, like phones and tablets?

Price will definitely be a deciding factor for some as they weigh the difference between buying a tablet over a console that comes with a GamePad that isn’t designed to leave the house — much less the living room.

For now, no one is ruling the company out. Nintendo has disrupted the industry before with the introduction of motion-controlled gaming, and there’s always a chance it can do it again.

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