As is evident by the recent confirmation that Nintendo’s core E3 2014 presentation will once again be a pre-recorded digital affair, the Big N is a big believer in keeping its consumer base informed with an ample amount of original video content. The most frequent streaming showcases are traditionally the Nintendo Direct presentations and the house of Mario has released yet another one dedicated to its upcoming, highly-anticipated kart racer — Mario Kart 8.
The presentation featuring Mario and friends made an unscheduled, yet delightful, appearance earlier today, and with it came a plethora of new information about a game that many probably thought they already had an understanding of. While that remains true for the most part, the Direct didn’t shy away from a few new tracks and characters. Namely, Nintendo announced that Baby Rosalina Miis, and Pink Gold Peach (a continuation of Metal Mario) will be joining the frantic racer’s roster.
This will come as a bit of a low blow to those that were waiting on the likes of Bowser Jr. and Diddy Kong to be announced, but it’s possible that more drivers will join the roster as unlockable content. At the very least, fans have the Koopa Kids to look forward to, and they appear to change up the Mario Kart character selection screen nicely.
Also accompanying the character announcements was news of a Wii U bundle arriving for Mario Kart 8. Nintendo had previously announced a Mario Kart package for European markets, but it’s now officially making its way to North America in a bundle that costs $329.99 USD ($349.99 in Canada). This new SKU comes with the following content:
- 32GB Black Wii U
- A Copy of Mario Kart 8
- A Mario-Themed Wii Remote
- A Red Wii Remote Wheel
While all of this sounds fine and dandy for consumers, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime also announced that consumers that purchase a copy of Mario Kart 8 will be able to download one of four Wii U games from the Nintendo eShop free of charge. All gamers have to do is register their copy of the game on Club Nintendo before July 31, 2014 and they’ll then be allowed to choose between New Super Mario Bros. U, Pikmin 3, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, and Wii Party U to download.
Nintendo is really pushing hard with Mario Kart 8, and it’s not at all surprising given how poorly the platform has sold thus far. These incentives, bundles, and the unparalleled popularity of the Mario Kart franchise are a promising sign that things can till turn around. Whether or not it will remains to be seen, but this Nintendo Direct indicates that Ninty isn’t ready to call it quits yet on the console.
Will you be picking up Mario Kart 8? What do you think of the new Wii U bundle and free game incentive?
Mario Kart 8 will be rolling onto store shelves and the Nintendo eShop on May 30, exclusively for the Nintendo Wii U.
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