Wii Party touted as next marquee title for Nintendo Wii

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata says Wii Party, set for release this year on the Nintendo Wii console, will allow users to sign on using their Mii avatars.

A screen shot from Wii Party, a forthcoming title for the Nintendo Wii. This week, a top Nintendo exec told investors that Wii Party would be the next great 'marquee party' title on the Wii.

It's not going to be an easy couple of months for Nintendo. For one, sales on the top-selling Wii console have begun to slip. Then there's the double threat posed by Project Natal and the PlayStation Move, two new motion-control systems manufactured by Microsoft and Sony, respectively. But fret not, dear Nintendo fans! Your favorite company has a plan, and that plan involves a really big party.

Earlier this week, in a presentation to investors, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata took the wraps off Wii Party, which he says would be the next "marquee party" title for the Wii. According to Nintendo, Wii Party will involve the roughly 160 million Mii avatars currently in use around the globe. Players will sign on using their mini-Mii, and.... well, we're not sure what they'll do once they sign on. Party, probably.

No word on exact release date, but Nintendo says Wii Party will hit during "this fiscal year."

"Nintendo has not launched a marquee party game since Mario Party 8, launched in summer 2007," Mar. Iwata says. "However, since Wii is usually being played by several people at once and the global sales of Mario Party have reached 7.6 million units, a party title has great potential. This is one of the titles which, we hope, will play an important role for this fiscal year."

A screen shot is above. Obviously, we're not dealing with major graphical fireworks here. God of War III, it ain't. Still, for a certain gamer demographic – young gamers, or gamers turned off by violence and squad-based shooters – Wii Party will likely be very alluring indeed.

During the presentation, Iwata also discussed Pokemon Black and White, new installments in the popular Pokemon franchise. "These brand new titles in the main Pokémon series are strategically positioned as our major Nintendo DS titles and will be launched in Japan in fall this year," Iwata says.

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