Nintendo leverages the Wii U connectivity and Miiverse to bring Mario to the next generation.

What would a new Nintendo console be without a Mario game? A losing proposition, that’s what. Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo America, knew a new Mario game was needed, and he introduced New Super Mario Bros. U at Nintendo’s E3 press conference this morning.

“Everyone says they want a new Mario game,” Reggie said. “We often get the request to make it just like it was, but better. That might sound like a contradiction.”

Nintendo’s solution is to use the Miiverse feature Iwata outlined this weekend, adding speech bubbles of your friends within the world New Super Mario Bros. U to brag about high scores or help each other out with strategies.

It sounded like the game would be played with the Wii Remote, but another new feature will highlight the Wii U gamepad. Up to four players can play together on a level of New Super Mario Bros. U, and a fifth player can help by adding blocks or other helpful gestures using the touchscreen on the gamepad.

We only got a brief glimpse of New Super Mario Bros. U, but what we saw seemed to highlight exactly what Reggie was talking about. It’s Mario, but … different.

Nintendo didn’t talk release dates, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a launch title for the Wii U.

See all our coverage directly from the E3 2012 show floor.

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