In a surprising appearance, Shigeru Miyamoto and Bill Trinen appeared on stage at today's Apple conference to announce Super Mario Run, a game that has been designed specifically for mobile and will come to iOS first in time for the Holiday season, with a December release confirmed.

As the name suggests this is a runner in which you go left to right, though it has a few tweaks. The core mode is a matter of running through courses; you tap to jump, with the timing impacting the kind of jump. A second mode has you battle against the runs set by other players. In a third mode you can create, expand and customize your Mushroom Kingdom with coins you collect in the core and competitive modes.

It certainly looked slick in the presentation, and a key point is that it will not be free-to-play with micro-transactions; there'll be an introductory free download available, but it'll have a fixed price for the whole experience. In addition there'll be Super Mario stickers for iMessage in the next major operating system update for Apple devices.

Part of Nintendo's press release is below:

Super Mario Run has a mode in which the player collects coins and heads for the goal, and a mode in which the player competes against the acrobatic moves of other people who have completed the same course. In addition, there is a mode in which you create your own Mushroom Kingdom based upon these play results.

iOS users will be able to download and enjoy a portion of Super Mario Run for free and will be able to enjoy all of the game content available in this release after paying a set purchase price. More details will be disclosed at a later date. The game has been developed with Mr. Miyamoto as lead creator for Nintendo. Nintendo is also continuing its partnership with DeNA for the launch of Super Mario Run. It will be offered on the App Store this December in more than 100 different countries, and nine different languages.

To help iOS users get ready for the launch of Super Mario Run, a free Mario-themed sticker pack for the App Store for iMessage will launch this month. iMessage users can easily access and use these stickers in a variety of ways, bringing a bit of Mushroom Kingdom flavor to their conversations.

Super Mario Run represents the next phase of Nintendo's expansion to mobile platforms, following the release of Miitomo earlier this year. After the launch of Super Mario Run in December, Nintendo plans to deliver its previously announced mobile device titles in the Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem series before the end of March, 2017.

So, what do you think? Excited about a Mario runner, and are you surprised by the 'iOS first' angle?