Nintendo gives a crash course in new Mario Kart 8 information

One month from today, Mario Kart 8 will be driving players wild with anti-gravity racing action. To get people revved up for the Wii U game, Nintendo released a new Nintendo Direct video that announced some additional news nuggets, including a Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundle, a free downloadable game offer for Wii U owners who buy Mario Kart 8, details about online features, new characters and new items.

North American Nintendo Direct

UK Nintendo Direct

Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing

“Everyone loves Mario Kart. It’s a franchise that brings people together for fun at a family gathering, a frenzied race against friends or just an afternoon break at the office. The numerous new features of Mario Kart 8 make this the most ambitious version yet, and one that will have players of all skill levels racing for the checkered flag.”


Some of the new information announced today included:

  • Mario Kart 8 Wii U Bundle: People who don’t yet own a Wii U system will find it easy to get in on the action. On May 30 Nintendo is releasing the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Set bundle that includes a Wii U Deluxe Set system, a Mario Kart 8 game, a red Mario Wii Wheel accessory and a red Mario Wii Remote Plus controller, all at a suggested retail price of just $329.99.
  • Get a Free Digital Game Bonus Promotion: Whether Mario Kart 8 is purchased at retail or via Nintendo eShop, if you register an accompanying Club Nintendo PIN code of the game with Club Nintendo between May 30,  2014 and 31st July 2014, you will receive a free Nintendo eShop download code for an additional Wii U game. Players can grow their Wii U digital game collections by choosing from one of these well-received Wii U games: New Super Mario Bros. U (9/10)Pikmin 3 (9/10)The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD (9.5/10) or Wii Party U (Million Seller). That’s a two-for-one deal featuring some of the all-time great Wii U games thus far. This offer also applies to people who get the game in the Mario Kart 8 bundle or digitally in the Nintendo eShop. As for the UK, you will be eligible to receive a free download code for one of 10 selected Wii U games. These games include: Nintendo Land (8/10), New Super Mario Bros. UMonster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii U version) (9.5/10), Game & Wario, Pikmin 3The Wonderful 101 (9.5/10), The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HDSonic Lost World (Wii U version) (8/10), Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Wii Party U. This offer also applies to Club Nintendo PIN codes included in the Mario Kart 8 Limited Edition software offering and Mario Kart 8 Premium Pack – Special Edition hardware bundle. More details of this promotion will follow at a later date here.
  • Online Multiplayer: In Mario Kart 8, up to 12 players can race together online, with four main ways to find opponents (Global, Regional, Friends and Rivals, Tournament), as long as everyone has a broadband Internet connection. Like to trash-talk or banter with your friends while you’re preparing for a race? You’re in luck! Mario Kart 8 lets players chat with one another in the lobby area using the Wii U GamePad microphone or text phrases as they wait for their friends to join. Players also can create public or private tournaments for which they specify the day of the week, the time and the rules. Per tradition, players will be able to race against ghost data from friends or even the top 10 worldwide racers. Players can try to beat them or just pick up a few tips and tricks from studying the best. If you beat the Mario Kart 8 development team’s ghosts, you’ll get a cool Miiverse stamp.
  • Mario Kart TV: As previously announced, this in-game channel allows players to watch their highlight racing reels from their races and tournaments they take part in, rewind them, play them in slow motion or upload them to Miiverse. They can watch the world’s most popular highlight reels and comment on them. Players with Google accounts can also upload their reels directly to YouTube from within Mario Kart TV, and post these videos directly to Miiverse.
  • New Items: Items are what make Mario Kart games so balanced. No matter how skilled some racers are, they’re just a blue Spiny Shell away from peril. A well-timed item can also turn defeat into victory in an instant. The new Super Horn blows away all other items – literally. Sounding the Super Horn issues forth a sonic shock wave that blasts away everything in the vicinity, including other drivers, Red Shells and even blue Spiny Shells. It’s a potent asset, especially for drivers trying to maintain their lead. Mario Kart 8 also introduces the Crazy Eight, a swirl of eight different items that lucky players can use one by one.
  • New Racers: Two new playable female characters make their debut appearances in Mario Kart 8. New heavyweight driver Pink Gold Peach glows with a golden light and makes a shiny counterpart to Metal Mario, while the new Baby Rosalina shows up for a play date with other Baby characters. As in past Mario Kart games, players can again choose to play as their Mii characters, rounding out the field of racers to a total of 30.

Mario Kart 8 is now available for pre-order at major retailers throughout North America as well as in the Official UK Nintendo Store. For the latest information about Mario Kart 8, keep it tuned to Nintendo Enthusiast.

More New Features Trailer NA

More New Features Trailer UK

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Written by Omar Taylor

Omar Taylor

What is hardware without software?

Responsible for updating news, producing editorials, and reviewing games. When not carrying out these responsibilities, he can be found achieving first place in Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Republic Commando online, designing games, listening to and creating music, and watching and producing animations. Did he mention how good he was at Star Wars Battlefront 2 and Republic Commando?

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