Mario has received unprecedented worldwide recognition since his debut in the 1981 arcade game Donkey Kong. While the lovable plumber has never appeared on non-Nintendo consoles (PC games like Mario Teaches Typing notwithstanding), Phil Spencer, the head of Microsoft’s Xbox division, would like to see that change.
In an interview with AusGamers, Phil Spencer says, “I’d love to see Mario on Xbox.” He explains, “Nintendo has the strongest first-party of anybody” and he would love the Xbox to give gamers the kinds of pleasant memories he associates with Nintendo.
During the interview, Phil Spencer cited two examples of Nintendo working with third-party developers: the Super Mario Minecraft Pack and Super Smash Bros. Minecraft is currently developed by Mojang and published by Microsoft. Spencer stated that working with Nintendo to bring Minecraft to the Wii U formed a “great partnership” and that he hopes it will open the door to future collaborations, including a future Super Smash Bros. game.
Super Smash Bros. was released in 1999 and only has seen four entries in the franchise (five if you count the fact that the latest one was released on both the Wii U and 3DS), but it has quickly become one of Nintendo’s most popular franchises. While most of the playable characters in Super Smash Bros. are first-party Nintendo characters, several third-party characters have found their way into the rosters of Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS. These characters include Capcom’s Mega Man and Ryu, Namco’s Pac Man, Square Enix’s Cloud Strife, Konami’s Solid Snake, Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog, and PlatinumGames’ Bayonetta.
“I know I get questions all the time on would I ever like to see Banjo in Super Smash Bros.,” Phil Spencer says, “and I’m, like, ‘yes, I would do that in a second.'” This implies that had Banjo won the Smash Charactor Ballot, he would have been a playable character in Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U and 3DS.
Phil Spencer is open to working with Nintendo on any number of projects, including ones that place Xbox characters on Nintendo consoles and vice versa. Perhaps this means Killer Instinct’s Riptor and Halo’s Master Chief will be guest characters in the Nintendo Switch’s Super Smash Bros. game?