Super Mario Bros. turns 25, series sells 240 million

Nintendo celebrates quarter century of Shigeru Miyamoto-created platforming plumber and beanstalk brother; Super Mario Collection hits Japan Oct. 21.

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Last week, Sony celebrated the 15-year anniversary of the PlayStation, a feat inspired in large part by Nintendo's decision in 1991 to snub the electronics giant on a CD-based game-media reader for the SNES. One week later, and Nintendo is celebrating a seminal moment of its own, as the publisher reminded its devout that the Super Mario Bros. franchise is officially a quarter of a century old today.

It's-a me, Mario!
It's-a me, Mario!

A sequel to the 1983 arcade title Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. brought Shigeru Miyamoto's titular portly mustachioed plumber and his sibling Luigi to the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985. Since then, Mario and Luigi have spearheaded Nintendo's console and handheld efforts, with the original selling more than 40.24 million units worldwide alone.

According to Nintendo, the Super Mario Bros. franchise has garnered sales of 240 million units worldwide in its 25-year history on consoles and handhelds. Included in this tally are the NES original, as well as Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, New Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Galaxy, and New Super Mario Bros. Wii.

[UPDATE] A translation error resulted in this story initially reporting that the Super Mario Bros. franchise has sold 224 million units life-to-date. GameSpot regrets the error.

The lasting power of the franchise can be seen in Nintendo's most recent installment, Super Mario Galaxy 2. The third franchise installment on Nintendo's 74-million-unit-selling system shifted more than 4 million units through the end of June, having achieved a prime critical reception upon its release in May.

To celebrate Super Mario Bros.' 25th birthday, Nintendo announced the Super Mario Collection Special Pack, which will arrive in Japan on October 21. As reported by Andria Sang, Super Mario Collection for the Wii is a "reproduction" of the 1993 title of the same name (released in North America as Super Mario All-Stars) and includes the first three games as well as the original Japanese version of Super Mario Bros. 2.

Beyond the games, the Super Mario Collection will pack a retrospective booklet recounting the franchise's history, including previously unreleased artwork and development documents. The package will also contain a CD soundtrack, with tunes drawn from the games ranging from the original to Super Mario Galaxy 2.

For more on Super Mario Bros.' 25th anniversary, check out Nintendo's commemorative Web site.

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