Mario Party 9 successfully launched in all major regions and has now reached over its millionth sold copy. It seems as if it’s a big deal in Japan considering that it sold nearly as much there as the first sales week of the US. It’s great to see the sales go up for this 2nd Mario Party title on Wii, and there are more copies to be sold in the near and far future. Speaking of the future, it’s obvious that the next Mario Party game is at the very least being pondered about deep in the studios of NdCube. It’s the decennial of the Mario Party series and it’s approaching, so what does its road ahead look like?
The Nintendo Wii is now in its end-stretch considering that the Wii U will be releasing as a successor to the former. It’s a near given that the decennial of the Mario Party series will appear on the Wii U system. It would be extremely unlikely for the inevitable Mario Party X (10) to release on the Wii since its life as a main home console will end, thus showing off likely failure if actually released as such. Make no mistake, it won’t be the end of the world if the game were to be developed for Wii, but it probably won’t be very appealing because of the more sophisticated hardware Wii U has to offer.
It’s highly probable that NdCube will develop the next Mario Party installment; however, whether they keep the same Car-Formula will be unknown until time of proper announcement. Considering how many fans did in fact like this change (for the better?), it should probably stay the same but be modified in some way to avoid such drastic freedom-less actions due to relying on the moves of opponents. They (probably) listened to the complaints coming from the fans about the minimal changes to the formulas with each installment. If they did, they should continue with that in mind, but at a more comprehensive and complex manner. Have Mario Party enter the realm of the Wii U with a blast!
What changes can we see based on what we know about the hardware? Well, obviously an exponential increase in graphic quality (might be overstated). Even if the developers don’t end up using the Wii U to its full potential, the graphical improvements will be noticed. It’ll be in true HD, hopefully. A lot of mainstream games on the competition consoles (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) sadly don’t even use full 1080p as a resolution (even if one sets that as an option). Developers should take advantage of the full HD 1080p resolution the Wii U will output, now that they have it (from a Nintendo system).
It’ll be great using the streaming capabilities of the Wii U Tablet Controller. That will act as a safe way to continue on with the game for a long time without possibly frying your TV set due to over-extensive playing (if in fact people do play Mario Party for numerous hours at once). Though, that then means the game mechanics must be suited for all types of control variations considering how one will only have a single screen to work with. But of course, using the other functions of the controller is a must, such as the integrated Camera, the touch screen, the gyroscope, accelerometer, and quite possibly the Microphone (hopefully better than the Mic used in Mario Party 6 and 7). Going aside from the streaming, developers must not replicate what occurred in Mario Party 8: the poor usage of motion control from the Wii Remote. With that in mind, they must learn of the different control variations contained in the Tablet Controller and understand the numerous usage options it has in store for the developer. As the first Mario Party game on the new console, they must not let the series start on that system on a bad note. Start it out strong, and become even stronger as the 11th installment comes to mind at a later time.
With a combination of a Wii U Tablet Controller (or maybe two!) perhaps mini-games will be able to use that screen for something like what the tech demos showed at E3 2011. Though they were tech demos, the possible features and mechanics were shown briefly to the public eye. The Tech Demos have simply scratched the surface; obviously Nintendo will showcase a vast array of possibilities for the Controller. After we see what it’s capable of, it’ll be easier to then speculate how Mario Party X could use the arsenal of mechanics.
With the launch of Wii U, the Nintendo Network will be used for anything internet-related for that future console. This is it, Mario Party X MUST use that in some way! No exceptions, the series is dying to see some online play. Even if there isn’t online play per se, at least have the ability to download content onto the game. This might even prevent any need for constant installments onto one console! One or two Mario Party games would be enough for the lifespan of one console if consistent updates are made accordingly. Please, developers. You must understand the need for online support.
There is a limited field of vision when speculating about Mario Party on the Wii U considering how little we know about the console itself. E3 2012 will answer our questions regarding the console. With those questions answered, only then will one have an idea just how Mario Party can work with what the next generation Nintendo console can handle. The road is foggy right now, but the paths will clear up as E3 2012 comes and passes by.
What do you see in the future of mainstream Mario Party games?