The day after Nintendo reported its first fall in profits in six years, company president Satoru Iwata gave a presentation addressing both the previous year's earnings and the current year's release slate. The executive also used the occasion to reveal his company's next big Wii title, Wii Party.
"As you know, 'Wii something' are the titles that we use only with software that Nintendo has developed exclusively for Wii with the aim to make them marquee titles for Wii," said Iwata. "We are developing this game with the aim to make it a marquee party game for Wii."
Although some would argue Wii Music and Wii Sports Resorts are well suited for gatherings, Wii Party will be the first first-party game made explicitly for parties on the console since 2007's Mario Party 8. Iwata revealed that the title has sold over 7.6 million units worldwide to date--nearly 2 million of which were bought in the US.
Iwata said Nintendo is eager to emulate Mario Party 8's success with Wii Party, commenting that "Since [the] Wii is usually being played by several people at once…a party title has great potential." However, he was more miserly with details on the game, saying only that its "developers are spending significant time [on] this title so that they can include elements that are must-haves in a party game, as well as making sure that [an] adequate volume of gameplay [is] available."
One nugget of information Iwata did confirm was that Wii Party will be based on gamers' Mii avatars. He said that over 160 million Miis have been made in the US, Japan, and in six unnamed European countries. He also said that the success of Tomodachi Collection for the DS, which has sold 3.2 million units in Japan, has also boosted the popularity of Miis in the island nation.
Iwata also unveiled two screenshots from Wii Party, which show Miis balancing in the rigging of a ship and traveling through Central America on a globe. He also said the game would have a Wii Remote-based "Living Party" mode, but did not go into details about what that mode would entail.