Super Mario's Next Sports Game Will Be Out In February

Mario Sports Mix, the Wii game created by the company behind Final Fantasy, will be out for the Wii in North America on February 7, according to a Nintendo press release today.

The game features Mario and his extended cast of friends and foes playing hockey, basketball, volleyball or dodgeball in the kind of super-powered match-ups features in past Mario sports games like Mario Power Tennis and Mario Toadstool Golf on the GameCube. Up to four players can compete online or offline, controlling the likes of Yoshi, Wario, and Princess Peach on contraption-filled courses set near Mario-verse landmarks like Princess Peach's castle.

The oddest thing about the game is its pedigree, as the game comes not from Camelot, makers of the aforementioned GameCube sports games (which were ported to the Wii) but by Square Enix, a company better known for creating role-playing game epics such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Square Enix's involvement does have one precedent: the company made 2006 DS basketball game Mario Hoops 3-on-3. Mario Sports Mix includes some Final Fantasy characters.

The Mario date was revealed today, a day after Nintendo marked February 14 as the date for a North American DS release of Dragon Quest VI. The company has no games new games slated for the DS or Wii yet for January 2011. It is expected to launch its 3DS gaming system in North America in March.