Nintendo mascot Mario will be teaming up with Sega's hedgehog pal Sonic once again in "Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games," a game announced for the Wii U home console.
Sporting events such as ice-skating, snowboarding, bobsled, snowboarding, skiing and biathlon were all shown as part of a May 17 Nintendo Direct webcast.
The "Mario & Sonic" series first started in 2007, launching ahead of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, with tie-ins for the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010 and London 2012 Olympics to follow.
No release date was given for the new Nintendo game, but with the Russian sporting event scheduled for February 2014, an October 2013 release would not be unreasonable, following the pattern set by the previous Winter Olympics title.
Also announced during the Nintendo Direct broadcast were release dates for "Super Luigi U," a riff on "Super Mario Bros. U," which arrives on June 20 as a download for existing owners of "SMBU" and at retail from July 26 (European regions) and August 25 (North America) for those that want a boxed copy or don't have the main game.
Hotly anticipated Wii U title "The Wonderful 101" is now due August 23 in Europe and September 15 in North America, rather than its initial pre-March 2013 designation -- the cute, crowd-based game has attracted a following due to its director's experience with the acclaimed "Resident Evil," "Viewtiful Joe," "Okami" and "Bayonetta."
Finally, a new Sonic game for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS was teased, entitled "Sonic: Lost World."
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata made mention of a new special relationship between his company and Sonic parent Sega, promising more information at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June and claiming that "Sonic: Lost World" will launch exclusively on his company's consoles.
Sonic fans need not dash all their hopes pre-emptively, as Iwata's wording implies a later release on other platforms -- precisely the sort of deal that Microsoft had cut with Activision for "Call of Duty" content, Sony for "Battlefield 3" expansions and, it transpired earlier this year, Nintendo with Ubisoft for "Rayman Legends."