Super Mario! How the plucky plumber could revive Nintendo's fortunes

The classic video game character Mario could be Nintendo’s saviour, according to pundits weighing in on the company’s options ahead of its expected new management strategy, due to be announced on Thursday.

Nintendo’s Wii console – which shipped over 100m units, the most successful gaming console it has ever sold – featured 13 Mario released during its first three years on the market.

In comparison Nintendo’s Wii has only had nine Mario games released as it enters its third year on the market, and has seen console sales dry up to an expected 2.8m this year.

While the number of Mario games available isn’t the root of Nintendo’s problems, analysts say the Wii U floundered because too few games were released for the console, with development issues leading to a delay of more than six months between Mario games released at the launch in November 2012 and the next batch of titles.

With 850 billion yen (£5bn) in cash and its own shares at the end of last September Nintendo can certainly survive a few years of its current losses.

Investors will undoubtedly want the company to take drastic steps on Thursday to reverse the tide, with some clamouring for Nintendo to license its games out to other companies and to make mobile versions for Apple's iOS and Google's Android smartphone platforms.

The last time Nintendo faced such drastic calls from investors was in 2005, right before the company embarked on its sink-or-swim strategy with the Wii.