Shigeru Miyamoto promises new gaming character

Nintendo's gaming innovation wizard who first brought us Donkey Kong, Mario and Zelda says he's hoping to introduce a new game character next year.

According to Sankei-Kansei (Google Translation) in Japan, yesterday Shigeru Miyamoto told the Nintendo shareholders meeting at its Kyoto HQ that "soon I need a new game character." The 57-year-old game design hero also reportedly added that he hopes it will "be delivered in the next year."

The news is long overdue for fans of Nintendo's first-party games, as the last original Miyamoto game franchise was Pikmin on the GameCube, which was released in Europe back in 2002 and re-released for the Wii last year.

Since then, most of Nintendo's new franchises haven't centred on new characters, but instead on the Wii console's Mii system, with games such as Wii Sports and Wii Fit.

Miyamoto has an incredible back-catalogue to his name, including Donkey Kong, which was the very first fully-fledged platform game as we know it. He later designed the first Super Mario Bros games, as well as the first Legend of Zelda games, and has also kept his hand in many Nintendo titles as a producer and executive producer. Miyamot was also involved with the design of ExciteBike, F-Zero and Star Fox.

Miyamoto is currently heavily involved in developing the software for Nintendo's new handheld 3D system, and he says the busy schedule is resulting in him having many new ideas.

Given the ground-breaking and insanely popular gaming ideas that Miyamoto has had in the past, we'll be very interested to see what he comes up with this time. Whatever it is, it's likely to be surprising, innovative and probably highly addictive too.