We’ve finally got an official release date for Mario Kart 8. Well, a release month at least. Nintendo’s been ludicrously tight-lipped about their WiiU release dates so far.
Mario Kart 8 will hit shelves worldwide in May, marking the first home console iteration of the series since Mario Kart Wii was released in 2008. Mario Kart 8 hold promise for Nintendo, since the Mario Kart series is one of their perennial best-sellers and most-played games; the Mario Kart Wii online community is still buzzing with activity, even six years after its release.
The newest version of the kart racer is important to the success -- or rather, resurgence -- of the struggling WiiU. Its predecessor is the best-selling racing game in history (at a whopping 34 million copies sold), so if Nintendo can sell even half as many, they’ll be on their way to bringing the console out of the grave.
So far, we know that the WiiU gamepad can be used as a steering wheel (just like the Wii Wheel functioned for Mario Kart Wii) or a traditional controller, with the track map and standings displayed on the touch screen. The traditional Wii controls will also be supported, for those who’ve grown accustomed to the Wiimote-Nunchuk combination.
Nintendo has yet to release a specific day in May when the game will be released, but we’ll write an update once they’ve made that information known.