Nintendo just underlined the generational appeal of video games with a simple release date

Super Mario Bros. Wonder
(Image credit: Nintendo)

In Super Mario Bros Wonder, the eponymous hero has a trunk now. Given the Italian plumber's long-standing penchant for metamorphosis over the last almost-40 years – by way of scoffing mushrooms, leaves, fiery plants, and many other questionable foodstuffs – that's not the most unusual sentence. It is, however, a sentence I've just relayed to my four-and-a-half-year-old daughter following the latest Nintendo Direct. She seems pleased, and is now looking forward to October 20, when the next adventure from Nintendo's moustachioed poster boy is due to release. 

For those who haven't caught up with their calendars yet, let me tell you that October 20 is also the launch date for another hotly-anticipated upcoming video game: Marvel's Spider-Man 2. In the immediate wake of the Super Mario Bros Wonder reveal news, I text my dad – a one-time Super Mario aficionado back in his late 1980s / early 1990s video game-playing hay day – who has now promised to buy my daughter, his granddaughter, the game and visit our house to play it with her on its day of release. 

And so on October 20, three generations of my family will be playing video games in the same room – my daughter, my son, and my father as elephant Mario in Super Mario Bros Wonder; and me across the room guiding Peter Parker and Miles Morales around their latest superhero playground in Insomniac's Marvel's Spider-Man 2.

United we play

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 PS5 gameplay screenshot

(Image credit: SIE)

Better still (or worse, depending on how much time and money you can spare at the moment), between October 10 and October 25 all of these games are set for launch: Forza Motorsport, Assassin's Creed Mirage, Lords of the Fallen, Alan Wake 2, Endless Dungeon, Marvel's Spider-Man 2, Super Mario Bros Wonder, Cities: Skylines 2, and the Alone in the Dark remake. We are, of course, in-line for Starfield and Baldur's Gate 3 before then, and if we consider the fact we've already had Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, Star Wars Jedi Survivor, and Diablo 4 this year so far – with Final Fantasy 16 due on June 22 – this year has been, and continues to be, a pretty amazing and hectic stretch for video games. 

I suspect loads of families and friend groups have experienced similar to what I've described above in this year alone, given the wealth of great, genre-spanning games that continue to land on our plates in 2023 – and it looks like 2024 is hardly slowing down on that front. If you play totally solo, you've also got some pretty big decisions to make in the coming weeks and months, be that which games you decide to splash out on, or, if you're feeling flush and are able to pick up more than one, how you split your time between them. My kids are too young to watch me kick scores of faceless thugs up and down the Manhattan streets in Marvel's Spider-Man 2, but I'll definitely be spreading myself between that and pushing the boundaries of Super Mario Bros Wonder's manipulatable world by way of its psychedelic consumables. 

You don't need me to tell you that Nintendo caters well for video game players of all ages, but I'm grateful for its unwavering desire to march to the beat of its own drum. With such a big Sony exclusive game launching on the same day, Nintendo could easily have shifted Super Mario Bros Wonder to a different date that didn't coincide with a potential competitor. But it didn't, and while the writer in me is objectively terrified at how increasingly busy the upcoming games schedule continues to be (seriously, we only have so many pairs of typing hands at GamesRadar+, won't someone think of the games journos?), the player in me is delighted that my household gets to share the joy of such a monumental day in the video games calendar together. 

If that all sounds a bit soppy and romantic, well, I guess it is. But between the stellar Xbox Games Showcase earlier this month, the wealth of cool games that surfaced from Summer Game Fest, and now Nintendo's jam-packed, new-Mario-revealing Nintendo Direct, this feels like a great time for video games. And long may that continue. 

Check out these new games for 2023 and beyond

Joe Donnelly
Features Editor, GamesRadar+

Joe is a Features Editor at GamesRadar+. With over seven years of experience working in specialist print and online journalism, Joe has written for a number of gaming, sport and entertainment publications including PC Gamer, Edge, Play and FourFourTwo. He is well-versed in all things Grand Theft Auto and spends much of his spare time swapping real-world Glasgow for GTA Online’s Los Santos. Joe is also a mental health advocate and has written a book about video games, mental health and their complex intersections. He is a regular expert contributor on both subjects for BBC radio. Many moons ago, he was a fully-qualified plumber which basically makes him Super Mario.