While Mario’s hardly been absent from Nintendo’s lineup, Super Mario Bros. Wonder is the first brand new core Mario game from Nintendo in six years. (Nintendo Image)

In its latest Nintendo Direct virtual presentation on Wednesday morning, Nintendo announced a number of upcoming video games, including the surprise debut of a new entry in the long-running Super Mario Bros. series.

Super Mario Bros. Wonder is planned for release Oct. 20 as an exclusive for the Nintendo Switch. It returns the series to its roots as a 2-dimensional, side-scrolling platform game.

Like several past Mario releases, such as 2019’s Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, SMB Wonder offers a co-op mode where up to 4 players can play through each level together as Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, and/or Daisy.

Nintendo didn’t reveal much else about what Wonder brings to the table, aside from a brief glimpse at some new levels and abilities. This includes a strange power-up that turns Mario into an elephant-person.

The announcement of Wonder was the closer for a 45-minute virtual presentation hosted by Nintendo President Shinya Takahashi and Senior Executive Officer Yoshiaki Koizumi, in which they shared highlights of Nintendo’s release schedule for the rest of the year, including:

  • Pikmin 4 is scheduled for release on July 21, which marks the return of the series after a decade. As a tiny explorer who crash-lands on an Earth-like planet, you’re asked to use creatures called Pikmin as your allies and companions as you explore for the raw materials you need to fix your ship. New features in P4 include night expeditions and a new buddy, Oatchi, a doglike alien who serves as a protector, pack animal, and occasional makeshift boat.
  • A new WarioWare game, Move It!, is coming on Nov. 3. The WarioWare series is a collection of very short “micro-games” made to be played in short, intense sessions. With Move It!, Nintendo has added support for the gyroscopes built into the Switch’s JoyCon controllers, which allows micro-games to involve full-body movement like dancing.
  • Events at the official Nintendo Live show in Seattle on Sept. 1 will include tournaments for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Splatoon 2.
  • The popular stealth-action series Metal Gear Solid is coming to switch with Master Collection Vol. 1 (Oct. 24), which compiles the first three MGS games with the original NES Metal Gear and its sequel.
  • The rare Super Nintendo game Super Mario RPG, a collaboration between Nintendo and Final Fantasy developer Square Enix, is receiving a graphics overhaul and a re-release on Switch on Nov. 17.
  • Vancouver, B.C.-based Phoenix Labs (Dauntless) is releasing its fantasy-themed “life sim” Fae Farm as a console exclusive for the Switch on Sept. 8. As a newcomer to a mysterious island, you can cooperate with up to three other players to build a homestead, start a farm, and solve the island’s mysteries.

Nintendo, which has maintained an American headquarters in Redmond, Wash., since 1982, recently released The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, the long-awaited follow-up to 2018’s award-winning Breath of the Wild. Tears sold over 10 million copies in the three days after its May 17 launch, according to Nintendo, which makes it the fastest-selling title in its franchise to date.

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