Mario and Sonic Together at Last
Mascots to star in new Olympics game for Wii and DS.
UK, March 28, 2007 - Finally the dreams of SEGA and Nintendo fans come true as news hits that Mario and Sonic are set to star side by side in a new game for Wii and DS, based on the 2008 Olympics.
SEGA made the historic announcement this morning and confirmed that Mario & Sonic at the Olympics (as it's known) is due for release this Christmas. The game's currently in development by SEGA Japan and Shigeru Miyamoto is supervising the project. The title will be published by SEGA of America later this year.
Players compete in events around venues based on official locations for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Featuring a supporting cast of recognizable faces from the world of both Sonic and Mario, players can choose from a range of characters including Luigi, Knuckles, Yoshi, and Tails. More characters will be announced at a future date.
It might not be Smash Bros. but at least they're together now.
Innovative use of the Wii and DS control systems are promised, enabling players to race down the 100m track, participate in exhilarating table tennis rallies and churn water in swimming heats to compete for the gold medal. It's on track to be like Wii Sports, except with Mario and Sonic taking part in Olympic Games.
Asked if it would be a mini-game fest of sorts, SEGA of America's VP of marketing, Scott Steinberg, had this to say: "No, I wouldn't characterize it as a mini-game [fest]. This will be an action-sports game in the Olympic spirit. The idea behind it is really to be an easy pick-up-and-play sports game where gamers of all ages can find it accessible. We see it as being very family-inclusive so my 11-year-old can play with a 75-year-old grandma and just have a blast with it."
Nintendo of America's vice president of marketing and corporate affairs, Perrin Kaplan, told us that all of the competitions in Mario & Sonic at the Olympics will take full advantage of the motion-sensory functionality of the Wii controller.
Speaking about the development process between Nintendo and SEGA, Kaplan noted, "The beauty of the relationship is that SEGA of Japan will work in close collaboration with Miyamoto, so that's sort of like the icing on the cake. There's a great development team and then he's going to amp it up like he does with all the games. That also speaks to our commitment to the relationship and to the product. We're excited about it."
Company reps would not say whether or not the Wii version of the game would be compatible with the DS build. However, IGN does have reason to believe that the game will be compatible with Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection when it ships later this year.
"Mario and Sonic have been respectful rivals since the early days of video games," said Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto. "In fact, for a long time they have been discussing the possibility of one day competing against each other. Now that they have been given the perfect opportunity to meet at the Olympic Games, we may finally learn who is actually faster, Mario or Sonic?"
"We are thrilled to partner with Nintendo and ISM on this groundbreaking title," said Hisao Oguchi, president and chief operating officer, SEGA. "For the first time, two of the world's greatest games' characters come together to compete in the world's greatest sporting event and we couldn't be more excited."
"The Olympic Games represent the true spirit of competition and passion," said Raymond Goldsmith, chairman and chief executive officer of ISM. "Bringing together intensely competitive and fun characters like Mario and Sonic in an Olympic setting helps showcase the sports of the Olympic Games in a new and compelling way for all generations."
We asked the inevitable question, what does this announcement say about the possibility of Sonic becoming a playable character in Nintendo's forthcoming Wii fighter, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but neither Nintendo nor SEGA reps had any comment.
"We're only speaking about this title so there's no comment about that," said Scott Steinberg.