Did ‘Mario Kart 8′ Save the Wii U?

Published 11 months ago by

Mario Kart Hits 2 Million Units

Amidst talk of Nintendo’s financial struggles, disappointing yearly profits, and declining sales for the Wii U many figured there would eventually be a point where the company turns it all around. It’s still a little too early to tell, but we may have hit that point.

Just reported this week, Mario Kart 8, the latest in Nintendo‘s kart racing franchise, hit 2 million units sold. Not only that, the game hit the milestone less than a month after its release.

We had already reported on Mario Kart 8‘s success — it’s now the fastest selling Wii U title of all time — but these latest numbers put the game in an even bigger category. Chances are when all is said and done the title will be one of the, if not the, best selling Wii U release yet.

News of Nintendo’s tremendous sales numbers comes courtesy of an annual shareholder’s event (via Nstyles) where the company also revealed that Wii U sales are “picking up.” So, with Mario Kart 8 doing big business and the Wii U seemingly bouncing back, this could be a sign of good things ahead for Nintendo.

Mario Kart 8 Screenshot 6

It’s also worth mentioning that Nintendo is coming off one of its best E3 showings yet, with upcoming releases like Super Smash Bros., Splatoon, and The Legend of Zelda generated a ton of buzz for the company. We obviously don’t know what exactly fueled this uptick in Wii U sales, but we’d venture to guess that excitement for Nintendo’s 2014 and 2014 slate certainly played a part.

Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime also thinks that this coming month (June) will be a big one for the Wii U manufacturer, and is eager to see the numbers. He, like many, believes that Nintendo’s E3 2014 showing was enough to boost interest in the Wii U.

The financial struggles of Nintendo have been well-documented over the past year, and there’s been a pretty even split between those who thought the company would bounce back and those who thought it was only a matter of time before they became the next Sega. Turns out Nintendo’s major brands still have some clout and may be enough to turn a struggling console into a major player. We’ll have to wait and see.

Do you think E3 2014 and the release of Mario Kart 8 were big turning points for Nintendo and the Wii U? How has your interest in the company and console changed?

Source: Nstyles, IGN

Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina

TAGS: Mario Kart 8, Nintendo, Wii U

  • Kaihaku

    Mario Kart hasn’t “saved” the Wii U but it has given it a huge boost of positive momentum. It’s up to Nintendo to capitalize on that…they did well at e3 but they have to keep the momentum up going forward. Now, the problem is that from e3 until September Nintendo doesn’t really have a lot coming out for the Wii U so I’m concerned that they’ll start to lose some of that momentum unless they have some surprises in store. At the least it would be nice to see a few more HD remasters along the lines of Wind Waker HD to fill out the Wii U’s library – Wave Race, F-Zero, Metroid Prime Trilogy, and Mario Sunshine would all be excellent candidates for remastery.

  • COREY_1993

    it helping. but shockingly the wii u is still being out sold by vita in japan. in fact the only thing to sell more than the vita is the 3ds.

    thats crazy for a console that is “dead already”

    • geonard09

      So is the ps4

      • COREY_1993

        i know… i pretty much said it in my comment by saying 2 for vita and 1 for 3ds.

        im surprised that a system that is “dead” is #2 out of the new consoles and last gen…..

    • bolo

      japans spend half of their life in trains, going from home to work/school and back. not much time to sit in your living room. they are all about the handhelds.

  • COREY_1993

    the only game i want from the nintendo console is bayonetta 2 cause i really liked the gameplay in the first… i dont really care for nintendo games since i think they are all the same. i have mario kart on wii and 3ds so why bother getting it on u.

    • Kaihaku

      HD graphics, improved online connectivity, balanced gameplay, new items, more customization options,etc. The battle more is tacked on but in every other area Mario Kart 8 is the best Mario Kart I’ve owned and I’ve owned all of then except for the DS version. Not saying you should buy a Wii U for it though I would have, but if you already own a Wii U it’s definitely worth picking up.

  • majora

    Just give us metriod

  • bio

    If people are shocked by the postive boost for the WII with mario kart 8. Just wait for Super smash bros. Even I am considering getting a WII U for that!

  • Shalkowski

    Just put out another Gamecube or drop the price down to like $150.

  • Apollo

    Picked up Mario Kart 8 last weekend. The free game promo with it was certainly a bonus! Been doing a lot of racing with the kids this week!

    Nintendo also looks like it has a full swing of great looking titles in the works. (Super Smash Bros, Captain Toad, Yoshis World, Mario Maker, Mario vs Kong, Mario Party 10, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse)

    3rd party publishers still seem hesitant with the Wii U but if Nintendo keeps doubling down with their own quality games, I’ll stay on board!

    As it stands, I didn’t have a whole lot of expectations with the Wii U but it has now become the mostly used console in the house by far. The poor brand new shiny PS4 is mostly just sitting there. I’ll pick it up once in a while for some adult time gaming but for family oriented fun play, it’s the Wii U, hands down!

  • Doug

    It seems like a lot of people were just waiting to see what Nintendo had laying ahead. Now that they’ve shown what looks to be an impressive line-up, it makes the purchase far more justified. As far as another price drop, as some people are still mentioning, well…..That’s absurd. You get the 32 GB console and a game for $299, what more could you possibly want?
    Right now you could go out and buy a bundle with, let’s say WindWaker, for $299. After that, you could immediately purchase Mario Kart, and it currently comes with a free download code for Super Mario Bros, Pikmin 3, WindWaker, or Wii Party U. In other words, you are getting a lot for your money.