It's been a long time coming, but Mario is finally set to make an appearance on Apple devices.
Nintendo, which is notoriously protective of its intellectual property, has long resisted calls to port its 8-bit and 16-bit classics to iOS. Millions of nostalgic gamers would pony up for mobile versions of games like "The Legend of Zelda" and "Metroid," but for years the only way to do that was to buy one of Nintendo's own mobile gaming devices.
Now everyone's favorite Italian plumber is getting his own adventure for iOS, dubbed "Super Mario Run."
Fans of classic Nintendo games will instantly feel at home with the gameplay and graphics -- trailers show Mario sprinting through a familiar world populated by floating question-mark blocks, squishy Goombas and iconic green pipes that spawn man-eating plants.
"Super Mario Run" is exclusive to Apple products, at least for now, and will hit the App Store on Dec. 15. It will be available to users in 150 countries at launch, according to Nintendo.
While the game is free to download in a sort-of demo form, it'll cost users $9.99 to unlock all the content. Mercifully, Nintendo has opted to avoid the microtransaction revenue scheme that plagues so many mobile games, so the one-time purchase gets users the entire game, and the app won't be bugging players to hand over more cash.
Nintendo's exclusive franchises are considered essential to the company's continued success as a console and handheld gaming company, as TechAdvisor noted back in 2013. That's why the App Store features plenty of "Mario" and "Metroid" clones, but never had the real thing.
But analysts say the company's unprecedented success with "Pokemon Go," which has been downloaded more than 500 million times, played a big part in convincing executives to tap into the potential of the iOS marketplace.
Investors like the move too -- the company's shares rallied in markets across the world on Nov. 16, CNBC reported, after Mario designer Shigeru Miyamoto joined Apple executives to announce the game.