Nintendo has confirmed that its latest mobile game Super Mario Run will launch on Android devices as well as iOS platforms – but not on the former until 2016. The side-scrolling runner app was a surprise announcement at Apple's media event on Wednesday (7 September 2016).
During the showcase – which also included the reveal of the new iPhone 7 and the Apple Watch 2 – Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto took to the stage to show off Nintendo's iconic mascot running and jumping in his smartphone debut proper.
The Japanese publisher later confirmed in a tweet that Super Mario Run would launch on the iOS App Store in December 2016, but kept quiet about the possibility of an Android version.
Speaking to Kotaku, Miyamoto revealed that the mobile app would not be exclusive to Apple platforms, but remained coy on the timing of its Google Play Store release. However, IGN later quoted Miyamoto as saying that Super Mario Run "would not come to Android this year".
In Super Mario Run, players will control the height of Mario's jumps with timed taps on a touchscreen, all while Nintendo's mascot hurtles automatically toward the end goal. Using the jump controls, Mario can hop over obstacles, grab coins and stomp on Goombas and Koopas, much like in any normal Super Mario game.
A listing on the iOS App Store has also revealed some additional details about the three modes that will be available in the game:
Super Mario Run will be free to download as a quick gameplay demo. The full game can then be unlocked for an as yet unspecified fee.
As a result of Nintendo's brief appearance at Apple's media event, the publisher's shares rose by 18% (before shrinking to 13% at close), adding $4.5bn (£3.4bn, €4bn) to the company's market value. Nintendo's Pokemon franchise also made an appearance at the San Francisco conference, as Pokemon Go developer Niantic Inc unveiled a companion Apple Watch app for the hit game.