Following the release of New Super Mario Bros. 2 on the 3DS (review incoming), Nintendo has defended their decision to iterate on the franchise rather than innovate; stating that they only release a 2D Mario game "once per platform" before looking to fresh ideas. This practice seems likely to continue... unless Miyamoto decides otherwise.
"We only create a New Super Mario Bros. title one per platform," Nintendo President Iwata told Kotaku. "I think we'll probably go ahead and continue at that pace."
"That being said, that's probably Miyamoto's choice, so I can't give you a 100 per cent guarantee that that's the pace we'll continue at."
New Super Mario Bros. 2 has released last Thursday to a somewhat muted reception, with early reviews praising the core gameplay but levelling complaints about how similar it is to preceding titles. New Super Mario Bros. U will launch with the Wii U - Iwata is confident that gamers will appreciate both as entirely fresh games despite their similar names.
"These are two very unique and separate titles," Iwata said of New Super Mario Bros. 2 and U. "We have a Mario you can play in the palm of your hand and a Mario you can play seated in front of your TV."
"I believe the two titles are unique enough that I wouldn't say that I'm super-worried that people are going to be confused."
New Super Mario Bros. U looked like an enjoyable slice of multiplayer action when I played it at E3, despite adhering to the New Super Mario Bros formula.
This recent statement brings hope that Nintendo will embrace entirely new ideas when developing the next Mario game - and the Wii U will need its Super Mario Galaxy, Sunshine or 64.