Shigeru Miyamoto says the next 3D Mario game should allow the series to "expand further."
Speaking at Nintendo's latest investor presentation (via VGC), Miyamoto was asked about the differences between 2D and 3D Mario games. In response, he explained that more recent Super Mario titles have had a specific focus on accessibility for new players which older games hadn't had.
"Let me explain by describing the background for the development of [...] New Super Mario Bros Wii, which was released in 2009. At the time, it felt like each time we created a new instalment in the Super Mario series - which by then had expanded into 3D - it became more complicated. After the release of Super Mario Galaxy in 2007, the goal was to develop a more accessible 3D Super Mario game."
That game was Super Mario Bros Wii, the side-scrolling nature of which lowered the barrier to entry for new players. According to Miyamoto, that approach led directly to mobile game Super Mario Run, as well as new ideas for the series as a whole.
"When we develop software, we strive to incorporate new elements, but at the same time we want to make it easy for even first-time players to have fun. Recently, people of all generations have been enjoying [...] Super Mario Odyssey, so for 3D Mario going forward, we want to try expanding further in new ways."
The success of Super Mario Odyssey means that more 3D Mario is a pretty sure thing, but there's no word on when we might expect the follow-up. The only Super Mario game released since Odyssey was this year's Bowser's Fury, but that was a re-release of the Wii U's 3D World, so hopefully a brand new game isn't too far away.
3D Mario sits comfortably on our list of the best Switch games.