During Apple’s Keynote press event today, Nintendo made a surprise announcement that no one was expecting.
Nintendo today has announced Super Mario Run, a brand new runner game for mobile.
After Apple’s CEO Tim Cook brought the company’s focus on mobile gaming, and showed off some snazzy new graphical effects the iPhone 7 was capable of, he invited Shigeru Miyamoto and Bill Trinen, as well as Mario Kart and Nintendo mobile director Hideki Konno, on stage to announce and demonstrate the brand new game!
Check out the full announcement below (courtesy of Kotaku):
This is certainly surprising for Nintendo fans, as there was no prior indication of an announcement. As Nintendo fans patiently (some desperately) await an announcement of their next console, code-named “NX”, and more details on the upcoming Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem games (previously due this Fall), instead this new Mario game was announced.
It is a welcome surprise for many Nintendo and Apple fans, as many were not expecting Mario to come to mobile anytime soon. Especially not now.
Apple’s new partnership with Nintendo marks a first. Nintendo has never partnered with another hardware/software manufacturer to bring its games to their platform. On the other hand, the move aligns perfectly with both companies’ similar designs of having control over the hardware and software, the entire user experience. Nintendo’s Satoru Iwata has likened the company to Apple before, so it is no surprise the company was keen to work with Apple in the first place.
The good news is the game is only a timed exclusive. The game will no doubt come to Android devices later. No announcement on the timing for that yet, but our guess is 1-2 months after its iPhone release.
The bad news is that with the announcement of this title, the previously announced Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem titles will launch later than expected, early next year.
While this news may be saddening to fans who were eagerly awaiting those titles, who can complain about the arguably most highly anticipated series, Mario, coming to mobile first?
On the plus side, it also gives the other two titles more time to shine before they are finally released on mobile, making the Nintendo mobile momentum stronger than ever.
Not only does the game feature a full-size New Super Mario Bros. style experience inside, but also a fun mode called “Toad Rally” which allows players to compete with their friends.
To many gamers’ avail, the game will be free to start, and will likely feature no micro-transactions, instead having one flat fee to pay to unlock the full experience. Players averse to micro-transactions should be happy with this decision. It should reassure gamers that Nintendo is devoted to keeping the Mario brand as strong as possible, providing a high quality game tailor-made for mobile, without diminishing the experience with micro-transactions.
It is also indicative of Nintendo’s commitment to bringing its major franchises to mobile and providing unique experiences, further expanding Nintendo IP to as many people as possible.
The game will release this December on iPhone, with further release and pricing information to follow later this year.
Check out a gameplay trailer below:
Super Mario Run is a good thing. It shows that Nintendo is further committed to bringing its franchises to mobile in fun, new ways, and is also embracing new partnerships with other companies more freely.
The game looks like a great fit for Mario, and with the NX coming in March, we may have another fun game to play on it, as well!
In regards to this news’ relation to the Nintendo NX’s inevitable announcement, this shows that Nintendo is keen on surprising its audiences with never-before-speculated announcements and news. This is good news, as it foreshadows the Nintendo NX’s announcement should be as surprising and chock full of news as this announcement, as well as the recent 3DS Direct.
After this, I personally cannot be more excited for the future of Nintendo.
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-Noah Sanchez, Gamer Splash