IGN had a chance to interview Shigeru Miyamoto during E3 2016, and he gave an interesting tease involving the Super Mario franchise, hinting that it may take a new direction in the Nintendo NX era.
“We’re always challenging ourselves to create something new, so hopefully you’ll see a new kind of Mario in about a year or two”, and then he added “Maybe next E3 we’ll be able to share something.”
Of course, we’ve already seen that Nintendo is challenging existing conventions in another franchise, in the form of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. They’ve done this by putting the game in an open-world setting this time, having very little back-story to start out with, and of course also by not having a sidekick character for Link in this adventure.
Miyamoto said that in contrast, tweaking the Super Mario formula to break some of its conventions is more challenging in some ways than doing so with Zelda, due in part to Mario’s much wider audience:
“It’s kind of difficult with Mario because some of the more important conventions of Mario are based on the approachability and accessibility of those games,” Miyamoto said, and he further noted how new people joining Nintendo has enabled them to look “at the conventions with fresh eyes.”