Jun 21, 2023 - Technology

Nintendo promises a Princess Peach game and Mario's return

Video game screenshot of Princess Peach

Princess Peach in her upcoming video game. Screenshot: Nintendo

Nintendo will release a Switch game featuring the iconic Princess Peach in 2024, the heroine's first starring role since 2005’s Super Princess Peach.

Why it matters: Nintendo has long featured Mario and his brother Luigi in lead gaming roles across an industry that has typically favored male heroes.

Details: Nintendo didn’t reveal much of the game nor announce a title or the team making it.

  • It showed just few seconds of Peach standing on a stage and zapping enemies with magical powers during a 40-minute online showcase of upcoming games.
  • The Peach adventure was announced in conjunction with a Nov. 17 Switch remake of 1996’s classic Super Mario RPG and an enhanced 2024 version of Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon.

Between the lines: Peach has been an optional playable character in Mario games as far back as 1988’s Super Mario Bros. 2.

  • In SMB2, she was a potent fighter who could jump further than Mario thanks to her buoyant pink gown.
  • But she’s also been relegated to roles that played into tropes about female characters — waiting on Mario to rescue her in some adventures, or, in Super Princess Peach, using mood swings like anger and sadness as super-powers against enemies.

The big picture: Princess Peach’s character got a modern makeover in this year’s blockbuster Super Mario Bros. Movie.

  • In the film, Peach (voiced by Anya Taylor-Joy) is a strong leader who trains Mario to fight in the Mushroom Kingdom.
  • Shigeru Miyamoto, who lead the initial creation of Nintendo’s Mario games, told Variety in April that Peach initially was presented in a way to give gamers a goal (to rescue her), but that the company “desires to make her a playable character, make her have her own story, be a more powerful princess, etc.”

What’s next: Peach and fellow Mario franchise character Daisy will also be playable in the newly announced Super Mario Bros. Wonder, a Mario side-scroller releasing Oct. 20.

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