Mario Kart 8 may only have been released a few weeks ago, but the Wii U is already feeling the impact of the popular game series on console sales. Reggie Fils-Aime, the president of Nintendo America, said in an interview last week that early numbers are reporting a “quadruple” in Wii U sales from numbers reported in March.
“We’re off to a fantastic start,” the optimistic Fils-Aime said. “[‘Mario Kart 8’] is driving hardware, which is great to see.” Fils-Aime also added that 18 percent of all Wii U owners bought Mario Kart 8 during opening weekend alone, compared to between 2 percent and 7 percent for previous Mario Kart games during their opening weekend.
And the numbers only grow overseas. In the United Kingdom, Mario Kart 8 helped boost Wii U sales by a staggering 666 percent, with 82 percent of all consoles sold that weekend having the Mario Kart 8 bundle pack. Overall, Mario Kart 8 has sold a grand total of 1.2 million copies worldwide it is opening weekend.
“Nintendo’s been banking on ‘Mario Kart’ to help revitalise the Wii U,” says GameSpot. “It’s one of those games that just has the power to shift Nintendo hardware.” Despite skeptics and naysayers who think Mario Kart‘s boost will “not be enough” to help the Wii U, GameSpot says otherwise:
“‘Mario Kart 8’ has made a difference to the Wii U’s fortunes and public image — and Nintendo’s excellent showing at E3 will only expand upon that.”
“The early response to Mario Kart 8 demonstrates that the best days for Wii U are still ahead,” said Reggie Fils-Aime in a press release. He’s right — the mega-popular Super Smash Bros. is still to be released, as are a a slew of new titles teased at E3, including a new Legend of Zelda title. “Nintendo is preparing for a very strong software line-up that people really want to try out,” Nintendo President Satoru Iwata told CNN. “By selling the software, we’d like to expand the hardware sales of the Wii U system. That’s our message. Software sells hardware.”
“As always, it’ll be up to fans to decide whether this installment lives up to its pedigree,” added Marc Franklin, director of public relations for Nintendo of America. “Based on initial reviews and fan reactions, we’re very encouraged.”
Interested in checking out Mario Kart 8 for yourself? Be sure to read our previous report covering all the best new features in Mario Kart 8 first.
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