Nintendo's “Mario Kart 8” is the best thing to happen to the Wii U in a while. The racer game's launch May 30 has boosted sales of the console more than 90 percent over May of 2013.
Since the Wii U's launch in 2012, the console's sales figures have been less than impressive. Last year's release of Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4 have done little to help the Wii U's struggling numbers.
According to Port Washington, New York-based market research company NPD Group, “Mario Kart 8” was the third-best-selling software in May. It also became the Wii U’s fastest-selling game with more than 1.2 million units sold worldwide within less than two weeks of its launch.
“This year, we had a steady stream of great content,” Scott Moffitt, executive vice president of marketing at Nintendo, told International Business Times last week during the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles. “’Mario Kart 8’ is just phenomenal. You just jump in; there’s always people ready to race. It seems like online play has gotten really popular. I love that.”
According to Gaming Blend, the Wii U is selling four times faster than before the "Mario Kart 8" launch.
In the game, there are 32 courses, with two Rainbow Roads. There are 16 mainstay characters, with 14 unlockable characters.
Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Toad, Koopa Troopa, Daisy, Shy Guy, Wario, Waluigi, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Baby Peach and Baby Daisy are the 16 mainstay characters.
The 14 unlockable characters are Rosalina, Toadette, Metal Mario, Lakitu, Larry, Morton, Wendy, Iggy, Roy, Lemmy, Ludwig, Pink Gold Peach, Baby Rosalina and your own Mii.
There are also 26 vehicles, from karts to bikes to all-terrain vehicles.
The 32 courses vary; some are partially underwater, some allow you to soar over brief breaks in the tracks, others defy gravity as you find yourself driving upside down. Like previous “Mario Kart” games, each character possesses various strengths and weaknesses. Some have faster acceleration speeds, while others have quicker driving speeds.
Are you playing "Mario Kart 8"? Leave a comment below.