A new Nintendo console is in early stages of development according to Shigeru Miyamoto. Talking about the future of Mario as a video game franchise Miyamoto said, “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.” Additionally Miyamoto, upon being questioned on future hardware iterations, shared, “For the time being, our focus is on the Wii U hardware, but Nintendo as a whole has groups working on ideas for new hardware systems. While we’re busy working on software for the Wii U, we have production lines that are working on ideas for what the next system might be.”
Historically a mainline Super Mario title is released close to, if not with, a new Nintendo console. The Famicon, or Nintendo Entertainment System, launched in 1985 alongside Super Mario Bros. The Super Famicon, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, launched with Super Mario World. The Nintendo 64 launched with Super Mario 64. The Gamecube was the first console hardware to launch with no Super Mario title but received one ten months afterwards in the form of Super Mario Sunshine. The Wii also did not launch with a Super Mario title although Wii Sports proved to be worth more when it came to pushing hardware, although it was a pack-in with the system itself, much like the NES and SNES. The Wii U launched with New Super Mario Bros U and last year saw the release of Super Mario 3D World. It appears that Nintendo won’t be releasing another Mario title on the Wii U and instead will be focusing on different series, with the new Legend of Zelda and a new Star Fox. The latter is a franchise that hasn’t seen a new release since 2006 with a DS game titled Star Fox Command.
Nintendo’s hardware has generally seen rotation in intervals of five to six years, and the Wii U was just released in 2012, making the next console a 2017 release if Nintendo sticks to tradition. However, Nintendo also appears to be leaving the entertainment out of its next console, as Iwata has shared that alongside delivering handheld and console devices that can interact like the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4, Nintendo will also develop a console that will improve people’s “quality of life.” The goal of this initiative is to reach a “new blue ocean,” as in, a new untapped market who have not purchased a gaming console but would purchase whatever new Nintendo console they are cooking up on the side.