In an interview with the Associated Press, Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto spoke briefly about the next step for Nintendo’s iconic mascot. When asked about what fans can expect from the plumber in the future, Miyamoto said:
Since we first created Mario, people have compared him to Mickey Mouse. I’ve always said Mickey Mouse evolved with each evolution in animation. You saw Mickey Mouse each step of the way. From early on, I wanted Mario to be that character in the digital world, so that with each digital evolution, he was there to usher in the next era. I think that maybe when we release the next hardware system, you can look forward to seeing Mario take on a new role or in a new game.
Does this mean we’ll have to wait for the Wii U’s successor to see the next 3D Mario game? Perhaps; Nintendo has historically released only one 3D Mario title on each of its home consoles, only breaking the pattern with the superb Super Mario Galaxy 2 on Wii. On the other hand, 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of the original Super Mario Bros., so it wouldn’t be surprising to see a brand new Mario game unveiled at E3. Either way, Mario Maker is set to release in 2015, so any chance of Mario being benched for the rest of the Wii U’s tenure is already dashed.