In slightly shocking news from Nintendo, it looks like the father of Mario and Zelda, Shigeru Miyamoto, will not be taking the stage at the company's E3 press conference in LA next week, kickstarting rumours that a new Super Mario game could well be announced at the show.
Miyamoto has been more focused on the family-friendly Wii titles in recent times, with experts suggesting that the decision not to push him forward this year could herald a return to the more traditional Nintendo core games.
"Not to put the great man down but this is a good omen for the hardcore Nintendo fan," says Editor of NGamer, Nick Ellis.
"In the last two years, Shigsy has used the press conference to announce Wii Fit (E3 2007) and Wii Music (E3 2008). Perhaps his absence from the stage this year means we'll be getting some of the announcements that we wanted last year, such as a follow up to Super Mario Galaxy."
The news that Miyamoto will not be at the press conference will disappoint Nintendo's legions of hardcore fans, many of whom see Miyamoto's annual arrival on the E3 stage as one of the heartwarming highlights of the entire show.
For many, Nintendo's creative powerhouse represents all that is fun and innovative about gaming (and he often provides some much-needed light relief from the marketing and sales hyberbole from the men in suits).
Of course, we (along with every other Nintendo fanboy worldwide) will be secretly hoping that Miyamoto arrives on stage at the end of Nintendo's presentation to announce a new outing for Mario, Metroid and/or one of Nintendo's other major iconic gaming franchises.
Nintendo has confirmed that Miyamoto will be in LA next week throughout E3 week doing the old behind-closed-doors presentations.
TechRadar will be on hand at Nintendo's E3 conference next Tuesday to bring you all the latest news from the Japanese gaming giant, where Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime and new face Cammie Dunaway, Exec VP of Sales will be running the show.
Stay tuned for all the latest news, opinion and interviews coming out of this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo from Los Angeles throughout next week.
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