UPDATE: Various sources are reporting that Nintendo has confirmed that the upcoming Wii U Mario game is based on the New Super Mario Bros.-like tech demo the company showed last year. To be honest with you, I don't remember much about that demo beyond the fact that it was sort of like NSMB and it had Miis in it. I was too busy playing Chase Mii. Now where the hell is that game?
If I were to tell you that Nintendo plans to bring a new Super Mario Bros. game out for its upcoming Wii U console, would that honestly surprise you at all? Maybe the timing would, given that there hasn't been a real Mario game as a launch title for a Nintendo platform since Mario 64 (no, Super Mario 64 DS doesn't count). But beyond that, can you actually say you're shocked to hear of more Mario coming to more Nintendo consoles? No, I didn't think so.
With that in mind, I suppose I don't need to tell you to sit down before explaining that yes, Nintendo really does have a new Mario game in the works. Speaking to Spanish newspaper El Mundo, Mario overseer Shigeru Miyamoto evidently let slip news of the game's existence while rattling off the myriad other projects at Nintendo he's currently dabbling in, which also include a new Pikmin for the Wii U and Luigi's Mansion 2 for the 3DS.
One weird thing about the announcement is that it wasn't really an announcement. The mention of the Mario game in the newspaper report isn't even from a direct quote from Miyamoto, which gives one the impression that he just kind of mentioned it off-handedly. Normally this would be enough reason to just ignore such a story, but then Nintendo went and did something actually surprising, and confirmed the game's existence in a brief statement.
In a recent interview, Mr. Miyamoto confirmed that a new Super Mario Bros. game for the Wii U system will be shown at this year's E3 Expo," a Nintendo spokesperson said. "We'll have more to announce about our plans for the E3 Expo at a later date.
So, there you have it. There is totally a new Mario game coming to the Wii U. Of course, the question remains as to whether this is something that might have evolved out of the New Super Mario Bros.-esque tech demo that debuted at E3 last year, or something more designed to build off of the 3D progression seen in the Super Mario Galaxy series. We also don't know if this has anything to do with the surrounding the supposed Super Mario Bros. 4 title that Nintendo recently registered domains for.
Perhaps we'll find out all of the above at E3. Hey, I certainly wouldn't complain about a new Mario game, NSMB style or otherwise. Though if it does turn out to be Super Mario Bros. 4, it had better answer all my unresolved questions leftover from Super Mario Bros. 3. I've been waiting 20 years for them to sort out all the weird species identity issues Mario had in that game. And don't you try and tell me dressing him up in all those suits was just a colorful way to give him new abilities. There was a painfully obvious self-loathing there that read even in the face of an 8-bit sprite. It's long past time for closure, Nintendo.