While one could argue that the wait between Nintendo first party launches are oftentimes excruciating, few could deny those launches have become cultural events. Whether it’s Mario, Zelda, Donkey Kong, or Smash Bros., when a flagship Nintendo game hits the fans show up.
Echoing that point comes the news that Mario Kart 8, the latest in Nintendo’s long-running racing franchise, has hit 1.2 million units sold within its first three days of release. This according to Nintendo’s internal sales figures, which include numbers for North America, South American, Europe, and Japan.
What’s more, Mario Kart 8 has now become the fastest selling Wii U title in the console’s 2-year lifespan. The title also joins the likes of Super Mario 3D World, New Super Mario Bros. U, and Nintendo Land as one of the best-selling Wii U releases. Nintendo of America COO Reggie Fils-Aime had this to say about the news:
“The early response to Mario Kart 8 demonstrates that the best days for Wii U are still ahead. This year’s E3 is just days away, and it will be all about the future games for Nintendo platforms. This milestone is a great place to start!”
While some could argue that the Mario Kart franchise had lost its luster in recent iterations, Mario Kart 8 appears to be a return to form, and a surprisingly strong evolution, for the franchise. Boasting slick visuals, new mechanics, and a wildly addictive online multiplayer mode, Mario Kart 8 is apparently the type of game Wii U owners have been waiting for. Make sure to read our review of the game to see what we think of Nintendo’s latest racer.
For all intents and purposes it appears Nintendo has done it again, delivering a critically acclaimed and hugely successful first party title. And yet, talk will continue with regards to the company’s struggling financial status and its need to evolve. It’s the double-edged sword Nintendo faces, and things likely won’t change any time soon.
That being said, a strong showing at E3 2014 could be just the thing that Nintendo needs to boost their profile. Hit attendees with strong sales numbers like these, and then detail what the future looks like.
Have you had a chance to play Mario Kart 8? What do you think of Nintendo’s Wii U racer?
Mario Kart 8 is out now for the Wii U.
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina