As rumours surrounding the the Nintendo Revolution controller continue to fly around the net, Shigeru Miyamoto has confirmed that the Japanese giant is keeping the design under wraps for fear of plagiarism by rivals.
In an interview with Wired News, Miyamoto says: "Nintendo is always trying to be on the forefront of control innovations, like the analog stick, rumble or wireless. As soon as these are available, our competitors snatch them up.
"Because the user interface is going to drive the Revolution software design, that's what's going to make our software stand out. Nobody else is going to be able to do what we do with next-generation game software.
"So, I can't reveal anything. It's under wraps because it's the big gun."
Miyamoto went on to confirm that Mario's next 3D adventure will appear on Nintendo's next-gen console rather than the GameCube. "The Mario team can't create too many games at the same time, so they're still concentrating on the Revolution."
He added that the team has yet to finish work on the initial game concept: "It's still floating around. We're searching for that fundamental idea that's going to drive the next 3D Mario game, but we're not sure when that's going to jump out at us. We're doing lots of tests with small groups."
But Mario fans have always got New Super Mario Bros DS to look forward to before Mario 128 arrives. Miyamoto says that the team working on it is led by Takashi Tezuka and Toshihiko Nakago, who've long worked on the Mario and Zelda series respectively.
"I jump in from time to time, so it's really close to the original Mario team members," he says, which might explain why the game will see Mario going back to his 2D roots.
"When Mario went 3D, there were a lot of new things that Mario could do and that the player could experience. But moving from the side-scrolling game that everybody is used to into a full 3D environment, the game design process became more difficult."
"With the DS we wanted a game that uses cutting-edge technology - you're using wireless gameplay for two-player simultaneous Mario - but also has gone back to the roots of the series to be a game that anybody can pick up because it's very familiar."
"We wanted a Mario game that everybody can be excited to play," Miyamoto adds.
Miyamoto also hits back at critics who have accused him of hypocrisy for commenting on the unoriginality of modern games, stating: "Nintendo's always been about challenging itself to come up with interesting things."
"People from outside might say that we make many different games with Mario every year, or a lot of Zelda games. But within those titles are always new and interesting challenges. We have the luxury of being both profitable and creative."
The full interview, which also reveals Miyamoto's views on Nintendogs, hardcore vs casual gamers and the state of the Japanese games industry, can be found on Wired.com.