They may be rivals in the console market, but that isn't stopping two of the gaming industry's giants from playing nicely together. Nintendo has announced that it is partnering with Microsoft, and its Mojang subsidiary, "in a match made in block-shaped heaven... to bring the imaginative worlds of the Super Mario series and Minecraft together".
On May 18, the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack will roll out as a free Minecraft update - but it will be available exclusively on the Wii U Edition of the game. Players will be able to resist the onslaught of Hammer Bros. and Dry Bones, in the same way that they would ordinarily fight Creepers and Zombies in Minecraft.
As Nintendo explains:
After downloading the update, players who own the Minecraft: Wii U Edition digital game which launched last December will have immediate access to new skins, a Super Mario-themed pre-made world, and a set of Super Mario-themed music and item textures, all inspired by games in the iconic Super Mario series such as Super Mario World, Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine. Minecraft fans can take a closer look at the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack in action in this trailer.
And here's a bit more detail on what players can look forward to with Nintendo's freebie:
The Wii U version of Minecraft features the full game, as well as many of the most popular previously released content packs for no extra charge. Downloading the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack gives players 40 new Super Mario-themed skins, which transform the game’s characters into familiar heroes like Mario, Luigi and Princess Peach, and even troublemakers like Bowser, Wario and all seven of Bowser’s minions. All the world and item textures in the game will also be redone, providing players the opportunity to create their own Super Mario-themed locations within the world of Minecraft. While building, players will even enjoy listening to the smooth sounds of 15 pieces of music from Super Mario 64. Builders of all ages will love crafting massive new worlds using building blocks inspired by a series as accessible and recognisable as Super Mario.
Sadly, there's no hint of plans to offer the Super Mario Mash-Up Pack in Minecraft on any other platforms besides the Wii U - but given that few people would have predicted Microsoft and Nintendo to collaborate like this, you never know what might happen...