Is Nintendo working on another Mario game? Does the sun rise every morning? It would be silly for Nintendo to even consider abandoning one of its biggest franchises. As for what a new Mario game might look like, and when it might appear, we're still a little in the dark.
However, legendary Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto did recently tease that Nintendo is working on something new in the Mario-verse, and it might even be able to show you what that is sooner than later.
"We're always challenging ourselves to create something new, so hopefully you'll see a new kind of Mario in about a year or two," said Miyamoto in an interview with IGN at this year's E3.
"Maybe next E3 we'll be able to share something."
The issue with Mario, which presents a bit of a challenge for Nintendo, is that the franchise is so well-known that the company has to be mindful of how it decides to use the mustachioed plumber in future games.
"It's kind of difficult with Mario because some of the more important conventions of Mario are based on the approachability and accessibility of those games," Miyamoto told IGN.
In other words, we doubt you'll be seeing some virtual-reality Mario experience anytime soon; rather, you're more likely to see a title that's generalized enough to be enjoyed by most people who pick up whatever console or handheld device the game would arrive on.
Super Mario Maker, the last game featuring Mario himself, is a great example: slightly complex for those who really want to spend a lot of time making new side-scrolling levels in the Mario universe, but still easy enough for anyone to pick up and use to make some basic, fun creations.
It's reasonable to expect that whatever new Mario game that Nintendo is working on probably has much to do with the company's rumored new gaming console, the Nintendo NX. However, given that Nintendo has already said it's expecting to launch the console in March of 2017, then any kind of new Mario game wouldn't be a launch title—not if Miyamoto isn't entirely sure one will be ready by next year's E3. The Zelda franchise will have to carry the torch in this case, and it's much more likely that the recently announced Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be the must-get launch title for Nintendo's next-gen console.
Given all the chatter about what kind of specs the Nintendo NX might have—as well as the rumored new fancy controllers—it stands to reason that the physical hardware of the console, much as the Wii's motion controls did for it, will help determine the kind of experience Nintendo is likely targetting with a new Mario title. In other words, don't expect this to be just a cut-and-dry side-scroller. Whatever Nintendo has in mind, we bet it'll be big (and, ideally, not another Mario Party).