In a surprise move, Nintendo released a Mario Kart 8-focused Nintendo Direct overnight, as well as a gameplay trailer showcasing a bunch of new content. Altogether there's a bunch of big reveals for the game that should please gamers looking forward to the kart racer. We're talking about 12-player multiplayer details, a few new roster additions, more item reveals and some retail surprises like a Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundle with red Mario wheel and motion plus controller for just $329.99. Let's get to it.
Let's start with the roster reveals, because those are always something to be excited about. Nothing hugely surprising here, but it still fun to know that Baby Rosalina has joined the roster. She's so cute! Second, to match the Golden Mario revealed not too long ago, Pink Gold Peach is also now on the roster. They call her pink gold, but she looks a bit more like Bronze Peach for some reason. Finally, the 30 and final roster spot goes to... Mii. Yes, everyone's been predicting it, but Nintendo has finally confirmed that Miis will be able to race in Mario Kart 8.
Now for the good stuff. Nintendo also detailed Mario Kart 8's multiplayer modes and details today, confirming that the game will feature 12-player online multiplayer. Twelve people, playing together online, on a Nintendo console -- it boggles the mind! Not just that, but players will be able to (don't gasp here) talk to other players via the GamePad's microphone. That's only in game lobbies, but still that's a big step forward for Nintendo. Additional features like public and private tournaments that can be scheduled in advance and ghost data to race against ensure Mario Kart 8 will be the best online experience for the franchise yet.
Finally, in terms of in-game content, there are a couple of items that are players can look forward to destroying their opponents with. The Super Horn lets racers blow away, well, anything in their path. That includes items like shells or bananas, or even players that get a bit too close for comfort. Next is the Crazy Eight, a play on the logo of Mario Kart 8, which gives the player a succession of eight items which "lucky players" can be used one by one. Not sure exactly what that means, but it sounds fun.
That's it in terms of content, though maybe there's a map or two revealed in the trailers that aren't yet officially announced and named. Now we'll move on to special deals related to the game's sale and packaging.
Club Nintendo members that buy Mario Kart 8 will also get a special surprise. Anyone who registers their Mario Kart 8 serial with Club Nintendo prior to July 31 will get a free game from the following lists: New Super Mario Bros. U, Pikmin 3, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD or Wii Party U. Basically, it's a 2 for 1 deal for some of the best games currently available on the Wii U.
Then there's the Wii U bundle that I mentioned earlier. While technically the price of the Deluxe Wii U is still $350, most bundles these days are selling for $299 -- like the New Super Mario Bros. U/New Super Luigi U bundle. The Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundle won't get that cheap, selling for $329.99, but it will include the brand new Mario Kart 8 release as well as a few goodies -- a red Mario steering wheel and a red Mario Motion Plus controller. That's in addition to the free game for registering with Club Nintendo.
Oof, I think that wraps everything up. Keep in mind there's a ton of Mario Kart 8 gameplay to be found in both the Nintendo Direct video and features trailer released today. Hopefully it's all enough to sate players until Mario Kart 8 is released on May 30 exclusively on the Wii U.