Nintendo's lead designer Shigeru Miyamoto has confirmed that Nintendo's next home console is in development and even suggested that Mario's next game may be a launch title.
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,” he told ABC. 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.”
And of Mario he added: 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.”
Last May there was a swirl of rumours that Nitnendo would in June reveal some new hardware at E3, although this was denied and of course later proved unfounded.
However that same month Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata confirmed that the company has clear ideas regarding the direction it will take with its next machine. In October it emerged that Nintendo was stepping up the hunt for next-gen architects.