There’s a Cat Mario eShop cameo appearing in the Japanese storefront. When people browse the digital store, search, or make purchases, you’ll see him running around the screen. This is to prepare for Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury, the first game in the series to feature the Cat Bell power-up. [Thanks, Riomegon on Reddit!]
Here’s the clip showing the loading screen from Riomegon, which brings up a running Cat Mario whenever you go between different sections or search.
After testing by finally purchasing Macho de Pon! ZZ, I can confirm that Cat Mario will also run across the top of the screen after you have completed a purchase and are deciding between leaving the eShop and continuing to shop.
This replaces the animated Mario that was added to the eShop as part of the Super Mario Bros 35th anniversary theme. It is only available in Japan at the moment. However, since the standard Mario was available worldwide, it is very likely we will end up seeing the Cat Mario eShop cameo appearing in storefronts worldwide.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury will come to the Nintendo Switch worldwide on February 12, 2021. There will also be Cat Mario and Cat Peach amiibo and a Red & Blue Switch system released alongside it.