Shigeru Miyamoto has confessed that Nintendo's ageing line-up of mascots and franchises could use some fresh blood - and hinted that we might see new characters from the company next year.
"We need new game characters soon, maybe we can move forward on that next year," the designer and R&D chief told a stockholders' meeting in Japan this week, as reported by the Sankei Shinbun newspaper and 1UP.
Miyamoto had been asked what Nintendo's "next game" might be. His comment comes two weeks after Nintendo unveiled new Zelda, Mario, Kirby and Donkey Kong games at E3, even exhuming 8-bit hero Kid Icarus as a standard-bearer for 3DS.
GoldenEye and Golden Sun were among the other elderly (if much-loved) series whose return to Nintendo platforms was announced in LA two weeks ago, while Nintendo will be launching Pokemon Black and White for DS in Japan this year.
The last new character designs from Miyamoto's own pen - if you don't count virtual puppies or customisable Miis - were probably Captain Olimar and the Pikmin in 2001.