Nintendo has announced New Super Mario Bros 2, a side-scrolling platformer for 3DS due in Europe this August.
The game, which Nintendo says has been "created specifically as a pick-up-and-play experience that can be instantly enjoyed by players of all skill levels," was unveiled by company president Satoru Iwata at the end of Saturday's Nintendo Direct web stream.
Iwata confirmed the inclusion of Mario's raccoon, or Tanooki suit, which returned for the first time since NES classic Super Mario Bros 3 in last year's Super Mario 3D Land. It means flight will feature in a 2D Mario game for the first time since SNES launch title Super Mario World.
As the few released screenshots show, it's not much of a departure from its DS and Wii predecessors, but that was probably the idea. After all, the DS game, which launched in summer 2006, had sold 18 million copies by March 2009; New Super Mario Bros Wii sold 10 million in its first eight weeks on shelves.
While New Super Mario Bros 2 will struggle to eclipse sales of the Wii game - which was released to a worldwide installed base of over 34 million - it is well positioned to beat the sales of its DS predecessor. When the original New Super Mario Bros launched, worldwide DS sales stood at 6.6 million - by the end of 2011 3DS had sold 15 million units worldwide.
Those concerned that Nintendo's "pick-up-and-play" line suggests a low difficulty level shouldn't be concerned; Iwata said much the same about the Wii version, which was a stern test at times. In 2009, Iwata said that New Super Mario Bros Wii, Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit Plus were developed "with the goal that they would satisfy everyone, from veteran games to novice players."
Source: Nintendo Gamer