The moustachioed plumber in red was conspicuous by his absence during the most recent Nintendo Direct, even though the broadcast was host to a huge number of important announcements.
However, Saturo Iwata did make sure to mention the company’s most bankable star by way of shifting our focus ahead to this year’s E3.
EAD Tokyo, the development studio behind Mario Galaxy, Mario Galaxy 2 and Super Mario 3D Land is currently hard at work on “a new 3D Mario action game” for Wii U, Iwata said.
He also confirmed that a new entry in the Mario Kart series was currently in development.
That these games exist in some form is hardly news, however it appears they are both quite far along in development.
“We are planning to show these titles in playable form at E3″, Iwata said, revealing that these two games are far enough along that in a few months time they will be ready for the spotlight, presumably ahead of a holiday 2013 or early 2014 release.
Nintendo’s president also mentioned the upcoming Wii U version of Super Smash Bros., which will be releasing concurrently with a version for 3Ds, but said it will not be appearing on store shelves or the eShop any time soon.
“It is a huge development undertaking”, he said, “and we need more time before it launches”.
According to Iwata, the game’s director Masahiro Sakurai has timed development so that a first look will be given, again, at this year’s E3.
No announcements of specifics for any of the games beyond these teases were given, and unfortunately we may have to wait a little while to get them. E3 2013 is set to take place on June 11 – June 13.
You can see the Nintendo Direct broadcast in its entirety here. Speculate away in the comments below.