Mario blushes red on his birthday

TOKYO: Nintendo is marking the 25th birthday of one of its most iconic characters by releasing an all-red version of its Wii game system.

The Super Mario Bros game is a quarter of a century old — Mario himself first appeared as Jumpman in the 1981 release Donkey Kong — and has enjoyed huge success around the world.

More than 40.24 million Super Mario Bros games have been sold, although part of that success is due to the game being part of the basic package offered with the original Nintendo Entertainment System.

Designed by Shigeru Miyamoto, Mario had his own arcade game in 1983 but the Kyoto-based entertainment company first released the video game in 1985.

The bright crimson version of the Wii console will be released in Japan on November 11, with a copy of the original Super Mario Bros already installed, although the company has made number of tweaks to promote the 25th anniversary.

The console will be complemented by the optional WiiMote Plus controller — also in red.

Nintendo has announced that it will expand the red theme — apparently a nod to Mario’s cap and shirt — to the DSi and DSi LL portable game systems before the month is out.

The company hopes that injecting some new color into its consoles will catch consumers’ attention.

Nintendo has put up a webpage in honor of Mario’s birthday at — Relaxnews 2010

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