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Nintendo displays its commitment to current gen platforms

Nintendo has shown its commitment to the current generation of hardware, announcing a brand new Mario game exclusively for the GameCube, followed by multiple first and third party game announcements.

The GameCube may have lost the battle to be current-gen market leader some time ago, but Nintendo has confirmed its ongoing support for the console with the announcment that a brand new Mario game is in development.

The Pre-E3 press conference was obviously geared towards the launch of Nintendo's latest 'disruptive technology' platform, the Wii. But that hasn't stopped the Japanese giant from showing an immense amount of support for both the DS handheld and Wii's predecessor, the GameCube.

Although the conference highlighted a few specific high profile games such as The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the E3 expo has revealed that there's plenty more on offer for GameCube owners - including a new platform exclusive starring Nintendo's long-time mascot.

Entitled Super Paper Mario, the new game is a curious blend of classic 2D side-scrolling platform action and the pseudo-3D graphics style of the Paper Mario series. Apparently, the game will also blend platform gaming with RPG elements, although exactly how it's all going to sit together is unknown at present.

What is known is that Mario, Peach and Bowser will all be available as playable characters, and there are elements of the new DS Mario game included - like being able to 'super-size' Mario until he fills the screen.

There's also the long awaited Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess to look forward to, along with a range of third-party GameCube titles. These will include Tomb Raider Legend, Lego Star Wars II, Super Monkey Ball Adventure, Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Rayman and a new Spyro game.

So while the console didn't get a look-in at Nintendo's pre-E3 press conference yesterday, it's clear that GameCube owners have at least a couple of reasons not to head down to the trade-in shop just yet.