With the whole "video games" business a total failure, apparently, Nintendo is returning to the trade for which it was founded back in 1889: playing cards. Next month, Nintendo will offer three sets of "Mario Trump" playing cards through Japanese retailers. The "Dot" deck features sprites of Mario characters, with pixelated text and symbols; the "Standard" deck features hand-drawn Mario art; and the "Neon" deck features the 3D renders we've come to associate with Mario in the last ten years.

While none of these decks is quite as lovely as the Club Nintendo hanafuda cards (in our opinion), they'll all be a lot easier to acquire. Instead of requiring imaginary currency accrued through the registration of Nintendo games, these decks will be sold for regular money: ¥1,050 (call it $11.50). Expect to see them offered from your favorite importer, like NCSX or Play-Asia, around their scheduled July release date.

[Via Andriasang]

This article was originally published on Joystiq.