Amid the slew of new game announcements and release date changes announced by Nintendo this morning, it was revealed today that Mario Party 6 for the GameCube would make use of a proprietary microphone controller, officially named the "Nintendo GameCube Mic." Mario Party 6, scheduled for release on December 6, 2004, will come packaged with the controller at the standard price of $49.99.
Although Nintendo has not released any screenshots or even artwork for the game, it has released a few details. The entire cast of playable characters from Mario Party 5 will return, including newcomers Koopa Kid and Toad. A new day-and-night system will change the nature of the boards and even the gameplay of the minigames. And the gameplay has been speeded up, with less "downtime" between the board game and minigame sections.
As for the use of the microphone controller, all that has been revealed is that there will be a separate "mic mode" where players use the microphone to answer quiz questions. Whether or not the mic will come into play during the multiplayer party mode or single-player story mode is not yet known.
The GameCube Mic could actually be released prior to Mario Party 6 if a GameCube title currently scheduled for November--Get On Da Mic, a Karaoke Revolution-style hip-hop game from XS Games--requires the controller. At press time, XS Games had not made any such announcement.
Interestingly, Nintendo plans to release Mario Party Advance, the first portable entry in the series, on the same day as Mario Party 6 (for the GameCube). Whether or not the two games will link up for connected gameplay is unknown, but the possibility is intriguing for gamers to contemplate.