You can't say Nintendo hasn't had a tremendous amount of success with that plumber over the years. Mario started out as a barrel hopping hero in arcade Donkey Kong, bounced on turtles on Mario Bros and graced the first Nintendo System in Super Mario Bros.
Since then, there have been a steady stream of games featuring Mario, Luigi, the Princess, Bowser and everyone else associated with the games over the years. The have fought, raced and fought the forces of evil and never more is that true then during a console launch.
When the original Wii came out, there was one crucial thing missing: Mario. The company wanted to focus on the Wiimote and its ability to analyze your movements. Instead of our usual sidescroller we got WiiSports. Players played tennis and baseball, but it would be a while before Mario would get his chance to shine.
With the Wii U coming out in December, they have already announced a new Mario game that will be coming out as well. It uses the controllers as well as the Wii game screen. The bad news is that the game is not likely going to break any barriers.
There is a Mario formula that can't and should not be strayed from. Mario needs to save the Princess, jump on Koopas and shoot fireballs out of his mouth. It's what generations of gamers have come to expect and frankly it's what we want.
Let everyone else invent the Skyrims and Gods of War, but that little plumber will always be a fan favorite.