Should we Expect a New Mario Party at E3?

Last year the major unveiling of Mario Party 9 at E3 was made. And with E3 2012 a few days away, should we expect another Mario Party announcement? Let’s break it down.

The Mario Party franchise was on a 4 year hiatus until the release of Mario Party 9 this year. Mario Party 9 was made for the Wii, which is about to be replaced by the Wii U as the major Nintendo console of the future. So if there would be a new Mario Party, it would be on the Wii U and not the Wii. But would the developers and Nintendo want Mario Party 10 to be one of the first titles for the Wii U or would they rather take their time? Mario Party 8 was released just 6 months after the Wii’s launch so past history suggests that we could get a new Mario Party soon after the Wii U’s launch. So development for the next Mario Party may have already started and they could possibly make an announcement at E3 while releasing future titles for the Wii U. Its definitely not out of the question.

But the Mario Party franchise is not limited to consoles. Mario Party DS proved that Mario Party can make its way to handheld gaming. With the 3DS still looking to add to its library, we may be surprised by a new Mario Party 3DS announcement. I talked briefly with site owner SuperZambezi, and that his prediction was that if there would be a new Mario Party, it would be on the 3DS. The main question to be raised is what format will the game be in. Mario Party 9 completely changed the style of play from the previous games with the car. So would they be able to implement this style in a well done manner on the 3DS? To me, there’s too many questions surrounding this, but it can possibly sneak its way into E3.

Before anything, there won’t be a new Mario Party if ND Cube deems Mario Party 9 was not successful enough to move on. The game so far has sold over 1 million units unofficially in its 2 month lifespan. It was the top selling game in Japan for a few weeks. It did not sell impressively well on the launch week, but many believe that was caused by Golden Week, a yearly sale in Japan, being after the launch week. These are successful numbers, especially considering the tough competition it went against during its launch date in North America, Europe, and Australia. So there is definitely motivation for ND Cube to release another Mario Party.

Now to just pure opinion by myself here. I wouldn’t be disappointed at all if there is not a new Mario Party announced this year. But I would love to hear some news about the franchise and the direction the devs plan to go with the next Mario Party game. The series is far from dead in my opinion. I think they will develop a new game on the Wii U (since ND Cube has not made a handheld game in years). I can’t make predictions about the format because that’s anyone’s guess on what could happen. For all I know we might see the game turn into a party-racing hybrid or a detective-party hybrid. Nothing is out of the question. But that’s the fun and confusion of having the unknown factor. No one knows when to expect a new Mario Party game. I believe we’ll find out on Tuesday. Nintendo knows Mario is still king. A new Mario Kart might not be as likely to come out near launch, so they might go to another Mario franchise to help them out.

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