Nintendo hosted a “Mario Kart 8” Nintendo Direct broadcast Tuesday morning where it revealed details on the game’s multiplayer, new items and a Wii U bundle. Surprisingly, the company also announced that the latest iteration of the kart racing franchise will come with a free game download.
“People who buy Mario Kart 8 and register the game with Club Nintendo before July 31 will receive a free Nintendo eShop download code for an additional Wii U game,” Nintendo confirmed in a press release. “Players can grow their Wii U digital game collections by choosing from one of these well-received Wii U games: ‘New Super Mario Bros. U’, ‘Pikmin 3’, ‘The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD’ or ‘Wii Party U’… This offer also applies to people who get the game in the Mario Kart 8 bundle or digitally in the Nintendo eShop.”
Speaking of the bundle, Nintendo announced that the “Mario Kart 8” Wii U Bundle will be released alongside the game on May 30 for $329.99. The bundle comes with the Deluxe console, “Mario Kart 8”, a red Mario Wii Wheel accessory and a red Mario Wii Remote Plus controller. And, of course, it comes with one of the free game downloads mentioned above.
“Mario Kart 8” will support races with up to 12 players online across four different multiplayer modes. Voice chat will also be available through the Wii U GamePad microphone as well as text chat.
Players will also be able to create public and private multiplayer tournaments where they can specify the rules of the tournament and when it will take place. Ghost data from friends and the top racers worldwide will also be available to race against.
New items for “Mario Kart 8” include the Super Horn that sends out a sonic blast wave to blast away opposing drivers and attacks like Red Shells and Blue Shells. There’s also the Crazy Eight which grants a collection of eight different items that can be used one by one.
Finally, new racers include Pink Gold Peach as a heavyweight driver as well as Baby Rosalina. The total number of playable characters in “Mario Kart 8” is an even 30, which includes Mii characters as well as the Koopalings.
“Everyone loves Mario Kart,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “It’s a franchise that brings people together for fun at a family gathering, a frenzied race against friends or just an afternoon break at the office. The numerous new features of Mario Kart 8 make this the most ambitious version yet, and one that will have players of all skill levels racing for the checkered flag.”