Alongside yesterday's (September 7th) reveal of the new iPhone 7 at the Apple Event happening at San Francisco, Nintendo royalty Shigeru Miyamoto came on stage to confirm – rather out of the blue – that there is a new Super Mario game heading (first) to iOS devices: Super Mario Run (official site).
Miyamoto, who created Mario in the first place, told those assembled and the hundreds of thousands streaming the event into their workplaces and living rooms that Mario's debut on the platform would be a (sort of, as it's level based) endless runner playable both solo – one-handed, allowing for stubbie-in-paw play – and in a multiplayer mode called Toad Rally. I'm imagining it playing like (the awesome) Rayman Fiesta Run, with just one tap to jump but timing being everything.
The settings in the game, spread across several worlds (six were seen on screen in San Francisco), will be evocative of old-school Mario titles, with the famous plumber, when playing alone, required to collect as many coins as possible within a set time. Toad Rally is slightly different: reports Polygon, "this mode is about impressing the Toads, as well". So, perhaps points for style will be awards alongside the usual coin score.
Miyamoto stated that Super Mario Run will be released in late 2016, around Christmas, and that it will not be a free-to-play title with in-game transactions. Rather, it will be a one-price premium game – you pay your money the once, and you get everything. While we've only heard that the game is coming to iOS, there's nothing yet to suggest that it'll be exclusive to the platform, and that Android and other versions won't follow. MiiTomo was multi-platform, of course.
The announcement has seen Nintendo's stocks rise sharply – much as they did when Pokémon Go proved such a runaway success. Unlike that augmented reality game, though, Super Mario Run is entirely Nintendo's game – so don't expect a collapse, as we saw when the wider world realised that Go was a Niantic and Pokémon Company product.
With the NES Classic Mini, Super Mario Maker coming to the 3DS, this fresh leap into mobile and the NX to come, I don't know about you, but I'm starting to feel pretty excited about what Nintendo's up to right now. None of this feels like it's directly competing with Sony or Microsoft – it's more like the company has taken their DS "third pillar" messaging even deeper to heart, and is aiming to be a complementary line of interactive entertainment beside the console heavyweights. Or at least, very different to the "opposition".