The tail end of this year leading into 2013 may well be all about the next generation of home consoles, but right now the handheld market is getting the majority of the love, at least as far as Nintendo and Sony are concerned. During their investors conference, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced several pieces of information including the existence of a brand new 2D Mario game.
Whether the title will be a continuation of the ‘New Super Mario Bros’ series remains unknown, but it has been confirmed for release before March 2013. I would certainly predict that we will see it as one of the Big N’s holiday games however.
I’m unsure of the reason behind the change in direction for Nintendo’s flagship series, but as far back as early last year it was always been stated as their intention to release both 2D and 3D Mario games. Bearing in mind however that Super Mario 3D Land successfully blended the two game styles, surely another game using the same engine would have been preferable?
As well as officially announcing the 2D Mario game, Nintendo also detailed their new ‘Nintendo Network’ which seems to be essentially a platform much closer to both PSN and XBOX Live and should allow for download of DLC as well as pure digitally released premium games as well as finally an ability to ‘own’ downloaded content rather than it being stored purely on an individual machine.
Finally Nintendo also reiterated that Wii U was on track for a global release before the end of the year in a statement that surprised nobody. Hopefully, E3 should give us a glimpse of the final hardware along with a preview of the launch titles. Give us F-Zero and Metroid and you can take our money right now.