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Nintendo is bringing Mario to iOS -- in a premium runner game

Veteran game designer Shigeru Miyamoto appeared onstage at an Apple press event for the first time today, and he was there to talk up a Mario mobile game -- Super Mario Run.

Veteran game designer Shigeru Miyamoto appeared onstage at an Apple press event for the first time today, and he was there to talk up a Mario mobile game -- Super Mario Run.

What's notable here, as the name suggests, is that Super Mario Run appears to be an not-so-endless runner built specifically for mobile devices. The player taps the screen to make Mario jump over obstacles as he autonomously runs through levels.

"Mario has evolved whenever he has encountered a new platform," said Miyamoto. "For the first time ever, players will be able to enjoy a full-fledged Super Mario game with just one hand, giving them the freedom to play while riding the subway or my favorite, eating a hamburger.”

However, it's not free-to-play; Miyamoto described it onstage as being "a set price" but demurred when it came time to say what that "set price" would be.

In a follow-up press release, Nintendo confirmed that a portion of the game will be free to download and play -- with the rest being unlocked for Miyamoto's mentioned "set price." The game is expected to launch in December and is also expected to include multiplayer functions, level design capabilities and additional in-app purchases above and beyond the initial price.

It's also unclear if Super Mario Run will eventually make its way off iOS. Nintendo has long made it clear that its plans for mobile devices go beyond putting Mario on phones, but today it reminded the world that yes, of course, Mario will be mobile as well.

The company confirmed that it will be tapping its extant partnership with mobile game giant DeNA to launch Super Mario Run in multiple regions and languages at the end of this year, with its Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem mobile games expected to launch after Super Mario Run and before the end of next March.

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