Nintendo announce new 2D Mario game and Nintendo Network

It's-a me, Mario! Yet a-fucking-gain. Like we didn't see THAT coming.

Having recently declared heavy losses due to the strong Yen and sales of the 3DS being less than expected, Nintendo have cranked up the money-printing machine again by announcing a “totally new” side-scrolling 2D Super Mario Brothers game as “a key title for the Nintendo 3DS in the next fiscal year.” Nintendo’s president Satoru Iwata made the announcement at a financial policy meeting for the fiscal year ending March 2012 where he outlined some of the new titles hitting the 3DS this year, including Paper Mario, Mario Tennis and Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games. Yawn. Thankfully there were some more interesting third-party titles on the list such as Metal Gear Solid 3D Snake Eater and Theatrhythm, and the long-awaited Kid Icarus being the one first-party title I could give two hoots about.

Something far more interesting than yet another fat plumber escapade is that Nintendo is finally overcoming its irrational phobia of all things online with the Nintendo Network. A proper Xbox Live/PSN type affair with user accounts ready for when the Wii U launches sometime between E3 in June, where Nintendo plan to unveil it in its final form, and the end of 2012. Iwata claims Nintendo Network will sport all the features you expect from an online service like messaging, sales, competitions and digital distribution, and pointed to the Nintendo eShop as an example of the infrastructure already being in place – despite it having barely any sodding games on it. The 3DS will also be compatible with the Nintendo network, raising the possibility of linking your 3DS to a Nintendo Network account instead of needing to faff about with friends codes like you do now.

As you can probably tell the news of yet another Mario game doesn’t exactly set my Mushroom Kingdom on fire. I’m much more interested in the potential of the Nintendo Network, particularly with regards to digital distribution of games, but they’ve got a fair bit of catching up to do. Still, I’ve always felt Microsoft and Sony haven’t been as vigorous as they could be in exploiting the true potential of digital downloads so it’ll be interesting to see if Nintendo will go all out on this one, to the chagrin of brick and mortar retail dinosaurs. Love it or loathe it the Wii brought loads of people into gaming, and if Nintendo can replicate its accessibility with the Nintendo Network they could be on to a much-needed winner.

Mario, on the other hand, can take a long jump off the bottom of a screen somewhere for all I care.

Source: Nintendo

Matt

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