New Super Mario in the works for Nintendo 3DS

There's a new Super Mario game on the way and on the Nintendo 3DS, confirmed company president Satoru Iwata during a talk at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California.

The game is being made by the same team behind Wii successes Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2.

"It's always been hard for players to jump and hit a block floating in 3D space," said Iwata.

"Finally, the day has come when we can solve this," Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto had told him, thanks to the 3DS's glasses-free, stereoscopic 3D screen.

Mario's adventures switched from a two-dimensional to a three-dimensional platform game in 1996 with Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64.

Super Mario Sunshine was also rendered in 3D, before New Super Mario Bros on the DS (2006) and New Super Mario Bros Wii (2009) returned to a side-on view.

Super Mario Galaxy was the Wii's first marquee Mario title, rapturously received at a time when doubts were circulating with regard to the Wii's continued potential to produce high quality video games.

The Super Mario logo shown during Mr Iwata's talk was provisional, he warned, but "you may notice something resembling a tail on the logo."

"You may be wondering what that indicates - we will reveal the answer at E3 this year," teased Iwata, referring to the Electronic Entertainment Expo, June 7-9.

A similar tail appeared in fan favorite Super Mario Bros 3, seen when Mario takes on the form of a flying Raccoon Mario or statuesque Tanooki Mario.

While Nintendo was presenting the GDC's opening keynote in San Francisco, Apple was preparing to reveal the iPad 2 at a press event in the same city, and Sony was gearing up for a GDC demonstration of its own upcoming handheld device, codenamed the Next Generation Portable.