Recent Articles: Mario Kart 8

Nintendo has 12 Wii U titles planned for 2015 as sales continue to rise


Nintendo announced a ton of Wii U games during this Summer’s E3 Expo. A dozen, if you’re counting along at home. And within the pages of their latest quarterly financial report, the publisher has revealed that all 12 are still on track for release next year. In case you missed it the first time around, here’s what Nintendo has planned for the Wii U in 2015:

First Half of 2015

Second Half of 2015

On top of this, Nintendo even has a few games currently planned for beyond 2016, such as Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem and the currently untitled Super Mario Bros. 20. It’s an ambitious scheduled, possibly the most ambitious of Nintendo’s nearly 40 years in the video game business.

Thankfully, their financials are starting to turn around. Elsewhere in their latest quarterly financial report, the publisher revealed they sold 3.22 million copies of Super Smash Bros. For 3DS in September and 3.49 million copies of Mario Kart 8 since its launch in May. These two strong software launches were complemented by sales of 1.12 million Wii U consoles, pushing its life-to-date sales total past the Xbox One to 7.29 million.

Last year might have been “The Year of Luigi,” but 2015 might be “The Year of Nintendo.”

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Relive the retro awesomeness of Excitebike with Mario Kart 8’s Excitebike Arena DLC

Fans have really taken to Nintnedo’s decision to expand Mario Kart 8 into “Super Smash Kart” with downloadable content. The announcement that Link would get a kart of his own was met with huge applause from the Mario Kart community. And the return of the B Dasher and Yoshi Circuit certainly revved up the franchise’s fans as well. But I think Nintendo’s next announcement might top them all. The Legend of Zelda X Mario Kart 8 Pack, which will be available in November, will include “Excitebike Arena,” a course based on the NES edition of Excitebike.

Excitebike was famous for including one of the first track editors in gaming history and Nintendo will channel that spirit by randomizing the layout of Excitebike Arena with every race. Jumps, oil slicks, grass hazards… if you remember it from Excitebike, it’ll be included in Excitebike Arena. Check out the trailer above for a look at how the randomization will work.

In retrospect, mixing Mario Kart with Excitebike seems so obvious that a part of me is amazed that Nintendo never tried it before.

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Double Dash’s Yoshi Circuit returning in first Mario Kart 8 DLC

Nintendo of Japan has confirmed that Yoshi Circuit, which was originally included in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! on the GameCube, will be part of the retro Egg Cup in the upcoming “Legend of Zelda X Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack.” You can get a glimpse of the revamped Yoshi Circuit, as well as Tanooki Mario’s Tanooki Buggy, in the newly released trailer above. Link and Cat Peach will also be added to the racer roster thanks to the DLC pack, along with Mario’s B Dasher, Link’s Master Cycle, and a kart based on Captain Falcon’s hovercraft from F-Zero.

“The Legend of Zelda X Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack” will be priced at $7.99 when its released in November.

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Mario’s B Dasher kart returns in first Mario Kart 8 DLC pack

Mario Kart aficionados love the B Dasher kart from Mario Kart DS. As Mario’s main ride, it made its mark on a whole generation of players. And now it’s back.

It will join three new characters (Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, and Link) and eight new tracks in this November’s “The Legend of Zelda X Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack.” To get you extra pumped, Nintendo of Japan has released a new trailer showcasing the kart taking curves and throwing shells.

“The Legend of Zelda X Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack” will be priced at $7.99 when its released in November.

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Mario Kart 8 DLC packs add 16 new courses, Link, Animal Crossing Villager, and more


A word of advice, if you ever find yourself playing poker with the Director of Mario Kart 8, Kosuke Yabuki, just walk away. The man will take all of your money and probably bash you over the head with a Blue Shell for good measure.

Back in May, Yabuki hinted that a Super Smash Bros.-like expansion of the Mario Kart character roster was something that he “wouldn’t rule out” for the future. Apparently, the future is now as Nintendo UK has announced two DLC packs for Mario Kart 8 that will add The Legend of Zelda‘s Link and a pair of Animal Crossing characters.

The Legend of Zelda X Mario Kart 8 Pack” will be available in November. It will include four new courses (including at least one that takes place within Hyrule), four retro courses (including Wario’s Gold Mine from Mario Kart Wii), four vehicles (including a Blue Falcon kart from F-Zero), and three new characters (Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, and Link).

Meanwhile, the “Animal Crossing X Mario Kart 8 Pack” will be available in May 2015 with the same variety of add-on content: four new courses (including at least one that takes place within the world of Animal Crossing), four retro courses, four vehicles, and three new characters (Villager, Isabelle, and Dry Bowser).

Each pack will be priced at £7.00 (about $11.60). And if you purchase both packs, you’ll receive eight rainbow-colored Yohsis and eight rainbow-colored Shy Guys as well.

“Super Smash Kart” is coming and it looks glorious. Lets-a-go!

UPDATE: Nintendo of America has confirmed that each pack will be priced at $7.99 on this side of the Atlantic and a special $11.99 bundle including both packs will also be available.

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The Last of Us returns to the top of the best-seller list in July 2014 NPD report


In previous years, the best-sellers chart for the month of July would normally be dominated by the latest entry in the NCAA Football series. But EA Sports canceled the series last Fall, so a new emperor is sitting upon the July Throne in 2014. Or rather, an emperor we’ve seen before in a spiffy new set of clothes.

This is a roundabout way of saying that the Remastered re-release of Sony’s The Last of Us (combined with more sales on the PS3) pushed the game to the top of the best-sellers chart. July was a pretty sparse month as far as new releases go, but 505’s Sniper Elite III also cracked the top ten. It was number eight… with a bullet.

You can check out July’s complete top ten list (which includes May releases Watch Dogs and Mario Kart 8 hanging tough in the top five) after the break. (more…)

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Mario Kart 8 August update includes Mercedes DLC, on-screen map, more

That bizarre Mercedes-Benz DLC will soon be available for Mario Kart 8. Nintendo of Japan has announced that an August 27 update for Mario Kart 8 will include three Mercedes-Benz karts and a comprehensive set of gameplay tweaks… including the return of the course map!

Aside from putting the course map back on your television where it belongs, Mario Kart 8’s August update will include a “Last Used Configuration” for each character and kart combination as well as a Scoreboard screen for each user that lists their total number of coins collected and online win-loss records. The update will also include an increase in the stability of online races and the ability for opponents to copy and edit the Mario Kart TV highlight videos.

As for the Mercedes-Benz DLC, the free kart has now become a trio as the car manufacturer has provided players with the GLA, the W25 Silver Arrow, and the 300 SL Roadster. You can see them all in action in the trailer above.

Nintendo of America has yet to confirm when Mario Kart 8’s first update will be available on our side of the Pacific, but it’s likely we’ll receive it around the end of August as well.

[Source: Nintendo Life]

UPDATE: Nintendo of America has announced that the Mario Kart 8 update will be available on August 27.

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Almost 3 million copies of Mario Kart 8 sold, but Wii U continues to struggle


Mario Kart 8 is an unqualified hit. Nintendo has announced that the latest entry in the kart-racing franchise has sold more than 2.82 million copies since its release in May. Even more astonishing is the fact that it accounts for 64% of all Wii U game sales in the April-June quarter. To make that number even more ridiculous, remember that Mario Kart 8 was released towards the end of May, so it’s only been available for a little more than a month.

While it’s good news for kart-racing fans everywhere, it’s bad news for everybody else. With Mario Kart 8 sucking up all the attention these past few weeks, every other Wii U game in existence could only account for 1.57 copies sold in the past three months.

Nintendo isn’t faring much better on the hardware front. The Wii U checked off about 510,000 console sales in the April-June quarter, bringing the worldwide total to 6.68 million. That’s not bad, but it’s still well behind the PS4 (and Nintendo’s expectations).

Perhaps a packed Fall, which begins with Hyrule Warriors on September 26, will turn things around.

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