A crowd favorite amongst video gamers, the 22-year-old Mario Kart franchise has released its latest title Mario Kart 8 and its sales have sky-rocketed since being made available for purchase on the Wii U earlier in June. The newest installment is stated to be well on its way to becoming the top-selling console game in Japan, its country of origin.
The only gaming system Mario Kart 8 has been made available for is the Nintendo Wii U. This console has had much difficulty when it comes to sales and has faced many slumps since its release in 2012. The Mario brand of video games has proven to be extremely successful over the years ranging as a playable title on all of Nintendo’s consoles and hand-held gaming devices. With Mario Kart being a specific fan favorite from the world of Mario, Nintendo seems to be making an attempt to save the dismal sales of the Wii U by releasing Mario Kart 8.
The game, reportedly, sold over 1.2 million copies across the countries of Japan and Europe, as well as the continents of North and South America within the first weekend of its availability. Countries such as the United Kingdom offered a bundle package deal supplying the buyer with a copy of Mario Kart 8 alongside each Wii U gaming console. This offer resulted in a 666 percent increase in Wii U sales in the U.K.
This early success and positive reception of the sky-rocketing Mario Kart 8 is very promising for the Wii U’s unfortunate sales rate. Though the console has sold 6.17 million units to date, it is still short of the benchmark of 9 million they were aiming to sell within the past year. Priced at $299, the console is stated to remain the same price due to the newly released and future Wii U-exclusive titles, like Mario Kart 8 and the upcoming Super Smash Bros., driving in more buyers.
Die-hard fans of the Mario saga will most likely commit to buying Mario Kart 8 once the mostly positive reviews of top video game critics and word of mouth begins cycling around the public. The new features included in Mario Kart 8 are assets that are sure to entice potential buyers. Players will race as all the familiar characters of Mario’s world as well as a few new faces. The new option of anti-gravity racing vehicles will be available for the first time in the saga. New weapons are another addition to the game including a super horn defense that can finally stop racers in first place from being pummeled by the infamous blue-spiked shell.
More Nintendo titles to be released this year include the aforementioned Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. The Smash Bros. series is another franchise that has been consistent at maintaining a top-selling sales record for Nintendo. The title is a platform-fighting style game featuring playable characters expanding from the entire universe of Nintendo. The latest installment is said to include the great many characters that have been playable in the past, but also adds many more that have not been seen in previous titles such as Pac-Man, Palutena and even the lovable little Wii avatars, Miis.
As the sales of Mario Kart 8 continue to sky-rocket, Nintendo continues to believe that the Wii U will have its best days ahead of it due to titles like Mario Kart. If sales continue to incline as they are currently, there seems to be a very bright future for Nintendo and the Wii U.
By Cody Collier