Nintendo’s most recent Direct took place this morning which queued a myriad of concerns and accusations coming from the longstanding legendary studio based in Japan.
There is good news and bad news that was coupled in the Nintendo Direct that celebrated the 35th anniversary of the Mario Brothers, and which you’ll focus upon is likely highly dependent on your personal day-to-day outlook.
First, the good news: Super Mario 64 is coming to the Nintendo Switch, along with Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy all in a singular package named Super Mario 3D All-Stars. Along with these three big classics, comes a new Super Mario title called Super Mario Bros. 35, which echoes Tetris 99 in pitting players against each other to survive the longest.
It's been 35 years since the first #SuperMario Bros. game was released! Check out the Super Mario Bros. 35th Anniversary Direct for news on upcoming Super Mario games and products releasing before Spring 2021!
— Nintendo of America (@NintendoAmerica) September 3, 2020
It looks both interesting and intense in equal measures, resulting in a flood of Goombas and Koopa Troopas being passed to opposing Mario players that are attempting to complete their run, while sending their defeated enemies onto your screen.
A new Game & Watch system (how’s that for a blast from the past) which will contain the original Super Mario Bros., Super Marios Bro. 2: The Lost Levels, and The Game & Watch Ball: Super Mario was also announced, with a modern liquid crystal display that ensures better quality than the original titles offered on the NES.
Super Mario Bros. Game & Watch won't go up for pre-order until FCC authorizes it
"This device has not been authorized as required by the rules of the Federal Communications Commission.
This device is not, and may not be, offered for sale or lease…" https://t.co/wNYX4AgCmj pic.twitter.com/E1nh30KPjr
— Nintendeal (@Nintendeal) September 3, 2020
Also announced in the Direct was Super Mario 3D Worlds getting a multiplayer expansion, and an apparent additional expansion called Bowser’s Fury which launches February 12, 2021.
All good, positive news that fans of Super Mario will surely enjoy; every day has a sunset, however, and that’s where some ire is being generated.
The three 3-dimensional Super Mario titles (64, Sunshine, and Galaxy) are all coming for a limited time as a package called Super Mario 3D All-Stars, both physical and digital; they launch on September 18, 2020, and the run stops on March 31, 2021. That gives six months for this to be on the market, and the physical copies are all limited runs, meaning that you either stand in line right when they launch, or you pay scalpers hundreds of dollars to get a piece of Nintendo history.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars, after the 31st March 2021 pic.twitter.com/62rqB7idZx
— Nirbion (@Nirbion) September 3, 2020
A paradigm that is becoming more cemented into Nintendo’s physical line-up as time progresses, ranging from the NES (and SNES) throwback console to the AC cards, amiibo’s, and almost everything else that Nintendo has physically crafted and sold in the past five years.
It makes me wish people wouldn't touch Super Mario 3D All Stars purely so it crashes and burns and Nintendo learns a lesson. But it's gonna sell like hotcakes and they're gonna keep doing this. I've never seen a game company hold so much contempt for its fans and the market.
— Dumb streamer Amph🔞 (@amphy139) September 3, 2020
Artificial shortages seemingly designed to drive price sky-high to reward scalpers for picking up as many as possible, and then flip them for an exponentially higher mark-up that consistently punishes those that follow guidance from retailers regarding customer purchase limits.
The Game & Watch system is also a limited-time run that begins on November 13, 2020; good luck finding one at MSRP.
Super Mario Bros. 35 will go live exclusively on the Nintendo Switch Online on October 1, 2020, and be playable until March 31, 2021.
But I don’t understand why Super Mario Bros 35 had to be limited. Unless it is a test to see if Nintendo can make a extended version of the game on the future.
Little theory, but it is probably a possibility. pic.twitter.com/kFBkQTTl2N
— João Victor Abramides (@AbramidesJoao) September 3, 2020
It’s currently presumed that Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy will be ‘reborn’ after the limited run as separate packages, yet Nintendo has not confirmed this; note that both physical and digital copies will cease being sold on March 31, 2021, for unknown reasons that have many scratching their heads.
It’s yet more bizarre strategies coming from Nintendo that frankly if other publishers attempted, they would immediately be raked over hot coals for.
It could point to a major release of sorts at the beginning of April 2021; the number of limited-time exclusives that will end on March 31, 2021, is a bit staggering and points to perhaps a new half-generation leap forwards, or some new form of title distribution that Nintendo is banking on. Either that or they truly are tone-deaf to the consistent cries of their fans.
It’s worth noting that everything offered today within the Nintendo Direct is pretty exciting: three legendary titles all coming as a singular $60 package with a bit of polish added sound far too good to be true, and many are chomping at the proverbial bit to hop into the Super Mario Bros. 35 and begin wrecking each other. The artificial limits, however, are leaving a bad taste in the mouths of many long-time fans.