So an eagle-eyed IGN reader noticed the fact that Nintendo has registered and owns “Supermario4.com”. If you type the domain in your browser right now it will redirect back to Nintendo’s main site. The fact that Nintendo owns the domain isn’t as big as deal as what they plan to do with it. Back in January at an investor’s presentation Nintendo revealed that it was in fact working on a brand new 2D Mario game that was scheduled for release in April 2013. Besides that, Nintendo gave no further details about the upcoming game. Nintendo isn’t exactly attempting to hide the fact that they just registered the domain back on April 3rd and publishers often times tie-up domain names just for the hell of it to protect their brands.
The fact that they registered the domain doesn’t mean an announcement of anything is imminent, but then again that doesn’t mean that they aren’t preparing to announce something. If I was a betting man, I would say that they were beginning the prep for some serious E3 2012, with Sony and Microsoft not planning to announce new consoles, Nintendo should absolutely dominate E3 with the Wii U and a bevy of new game announcements. I’m not saying Microsoft and Sony won’t both make a few splashes but if Nintendo doesn’t come out of E3 as this year’s clear winner then it would be a huge missed opportunity for them.
It’s easy to jump to the conclusion that Super Mario 4 will be this as yet unnamed 2D 3DS game, but I just don’t think so. Super Mario 3 originally came out in Japan in 1988 and was revolutionary on multiple levels. With it being over 20 years since the release of Super Mario 3, if and when Nintendo decides to release Super Mario 4 there is no way it will be for a handheld only. Super Mario 4 almost screams to the be lead title for the Wii U as Nintendo seeks to win back hardcore gamers, it would be a great and absolutely appropriate mix of the old and the new.