What makes a game a hit? More than 20 years ago, it was a simple premise: delightful characters and widespread appeal. That combination propelled "Super Mario Brothers" for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and invigorated the gaming industry during a time when even Atari had all but died. Nintendo has built a world around this franchise that continues to thrive.
As with the Super Mario Brothers phenomenon, Sony needs "Little Big Planet" to be a system-seller to help them gain ground against the Wii and Xbox 360. Sony is hoping their own twist on a simple, charming 2-D side scrolling game will strike gold in the form of small felt-covered stuffed animals.