Only in recent months has Nintendo broken into the realm of mobile gaming with games like Miitomo and the Niantic-developed Pokemon GO. Now, Nintendo is diving headfirst into mobile in a huge way: Super Mario Run.
Announced today during Apple's press event, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto took the stage to show off the latest entry in the Super Mario franchise, which is also the character's first official mobile game.
As its name implies, it's a runner game like so many others on mobile. Mario will automatically run from left to right, with players tapping the screen to make Mario jump. Holding down on the screen will cause Mario to jump higher. Also shown on stage was a "battle" mode for multiple players, though exact details for the game type aren't available.
Visually, Super Mario Run looks to adopt the 3D graphics of games like New Super Mario Bros., as seen on the Wii, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS. If you didn't know it was for iOS, you would assume it was being played on a Nintendo console. The game is coming sometime in 2016 and won't be free-to-play, though an exact price for the game has yet to be announced. Mario stickers will also be coming to iOS devices alongside iOS 10.
As of right now, it's assumed that the game is an iOS exclusive, but that has yet to be confirmed. It's possible the game may arrive on iOS devices first before arriving for Android. Regardless, it's a huge step forward for Nintendo. The company, up until this point, has only gotten its feet wet with the free social game Miitomo, and though Pokemon GO is a massive success, Nintendo actually sees little of the profit from that particular title. An honest-to-goodness Mario game for mobile has the potential to be a huge hit. Still, it's curious that the game isn't free. Given the popularity (and profits) of Pokemon GO, one might have expected Nintendo to do something similar with its biggest franchise by including microtransactions, but that doesn't appear to be the case. Speaking of Pokemon GO, that game will also be arriving for the Apple Watch, which is, quite frankly, a perfect fit.
Mario on mobile isn't the only big announcement fans can expect from Nintendo this year. The company is still preparing to announce its new game console, codenamed the NX, soon. The console is rumored to be a home/handheld hybrid machine, one that might also play Nintendo's increasing library of mobile games.