By Duncan Mackay

Mario_and_Sonic_in_London_April_2011April 21 - The Olympics will continue to be a place where blue hedgehogs and Italian plumbers can test their athletic prowess after Sega and Nintendo announced that they are launching Mario and Sonic at London 2012 for the Wii and 3DS.

It will be latest in the hugely successful series of multi-sport tie-ins starring the two legendary gaming mascots.

"Mario and Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games" is being developed for the Wii and 3DSat and a release date is expected to be revealed later in the year.

The game has been developed in partnership with International Sports Multimedia (ISM), the exclusive licensee of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), who will benefit financially from the new game. 

"Mario and Sonic have had a phenomenally successful partnership and we are extremely proud to be able to recreate this once again with Nintendo and ISM for the London 2012 Olympic Games" said Naoya Tsurumi, the chairman for Sega of America and Sega Europe.

"It is truly exciting to be in the position to develop interactive entertainment software titles based on the Olympic Games, and for Sonic and Mario to once again be a part of this historic event."

To celebrate the announcement, Sonic and Mario spent the afternoon travelling around London on a double-decker bus, having their photos taken in front of various landmarks.

On the Nintendo Wii, the London title is set to boast new sporting tasks such as football and equestrian events, as well as favourites like athletics and table tennis.

The 3DS outing is set to feature 50 "original Olympic-themed" challenges, which makes it sound a little like a WarioWare title, which should be fun.

Both versions will offer single-and multiplayer modes.

Mario and Sonic were bitter enemies during the 90s when the Super Mario Bros titles went moustache-to-spike against Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog series.

But the intense rivalry was put aside several years ago when the duo discovered a mutual love of Olympian sporting events.

So far, their previous co-projects, Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games and Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, have sold over 19 million copies.

"The London 2012 Olympic Games will be a sporting showcase that will embrace the world and we are delighted to have Mario and Sonic competing once again, this time in the largest number of Olympic sports ever," said Raymond Goldsmith, chairman and chief executive of ISM.

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