Mario Kart 8 Has Increased Wii U Sales By 400%

Mario Kart 8 Has Increased Wii U Sales By 400%
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But I like to think that it was actually the Luigi Death Stare that sold all those consoles!

Speaking to Venture Beat, Reggie Fils-Aime confirmed that Mario Kart 8 is not only selling in droves, it’s driving console sale of the Wii U to the point where it’s selling four times as much as it was previously.

“Mario Kart 8 has increased the sell-through of the Wii U hardware business by a factor of four,” he said, in an interview with VentureBeat. “In the two weeks prior to the launch, versus what we’ve seen now following the launch, we’re selling at a daily rate four times higher than where we were before.”

That’s fairly incredible, but not entirely unexpected. Mario Kart Wii was, after all, the original Wii’s highest selling game.

But an interesting question: would Nintendo have been better waiting for the Wii U’s install base to grow before releasing Mario Kart 8, or were Nintendo right to use Mario Kart 8 to drive the install base? It’s a genuine chicken/egg situation.

“We’re still selling Mario Kart DS when that product was launched in 2005,” explained Reggie. “We’re still selling New Super Mario Bros. for the Wii. That was launched, I think, in 2008? We sell product for years. The argument of, boy, maybe Nintendo should have waited until the installed base was higher? No. These games drive our installed base.”

Well, there you have it: the egg sells the chicken, then the chicken keeps making a shitload more eggs. Mystery solved.


  • I’m sure now the fence sitters will start buying the wii u.
    at the moment it seems to have more genuine exclusives in a short time frame then both Sony and MS.

      • Many people seem to forget that, if you listen to reggie it almost seems like the Wii U never had that year where people thought it was an extension for the Wii

      • Thst was a double edged sword. On one hand they used the first year to iron out the bugs and updates. Two it was released a year too early. Should have been released now, with Mario Kart as a launch title.

        • Imagine if they did with Mario 3D world, Pikmin, Windwaker HD, Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze and mariokart 8 as launch titles with Super smash brothers coming later as well as Bayonetta 2…

    • I was one of them. MK8 convinced me to finally get a Wii U, and after E3, that’s just reinforced that decision. The future is looking good.

      • I picked up a Wii U after E3, it was the tipping point really
        didnt hurt they with Mario kart 8 they are allowing you to download one of 10 1st party games 🙂

        Really happy with it so far

        • I went and grabbed a Wii U at ebgames over the weekend for mario kart 8, was really happy with the deal including a free game download and nintendoland. which i’m sure i’ll trade back in for another mario game down the track.

          • how good is the Wii U
            Wish I picked up one earlier 🙂

            also good luck trading it in, I dont think anyone will take it

          • lol EB games traded it for $9. They had 10 in store preowned selling for $38. nice profit margin, but I now have Wind Waker

    • Worldwide, it’s neck and neck with PS4 at the moment. Yes, the PS4 is selling better given the 12 month head start that the Wii U had. But by your trolling fail, you’re implying that about 4.5 people bought a PS4… lol… fail

      • No. Without an actual sales number 400% means nothing and there even may be a possibility it only sold 4 extra consoles.

        • there even may be a possibility it only sold 4 extra consoles.

          If I were a mod, I’d temp ban you.

          • Well I’m glad you’re not.

            That’s kinda true. Even at Nintendo’s predicted (and constantly over-optimistic) sales rates the console is still a few years of sales behind Dreamcast levels of success.

            400% is a nice boost, but seriously who the f*ck was buying a WiiU in April 2014? It’s a traditionally quiet time for the industry and the WIiU had no momentum whatsoever. I remember joking at this time last year that based on the sales rates at that point the WiiU wasn’t going to pass the Dreamcast until 2021.

            Edit: Just went a checked. The WiiU sold units 160,000 GLOBALLY between April 1 and June 30 last year.

            Given there were no new gen consoles on the market then (less competition) and there’s been no new system sellers recently, I’d be surprised if sales were significantly higher (or higher at all) than they were at that point in 2013.

            Look, Mario kart looks great and I’m keen to get a WiiU myself, but when they say 400% then you have to take it with a grain of salt.

          • There is no possibility that Nintendo only sold a single Wii U in April, regardless of how slow the month was.

          • Ahh crap I was slow on my edit and you’d already replied. I’ve put more detail above.

            Yes- they sold more than ONE, but Nintendo sold 160,000 WiiU’s GLOBALLY between the 3 months of April 1 and June 30 last year.
            That’s a terrible 13,000 a week. A 400% increase sounds great, but if it’s only for the fortnight following one of only 2 system selling releases for the year….. yeah….. that’s still not great.

            If they’d come out and said: “We sold an extra 100,000 WiiUs because of Mario Kart!” people would be laughing at them.

          • I’m not disagreeing with any of that, I’m disagreeing with shitheads ludicrous attempt to say that it’s a real possibility that they sold a single unit.

      • Nah, there’s still heaps of reasons to bash the WiiU!

        It is good that it’s selling better though (for now).
        If I can find a cheap one somewhere ($200ish) I’m probably to the point where I’ll tentatively jump off the fence.

        Mario Kart and that Mario game that’s like the 3DS one but still good (I’ve lost track of their lazy naming conventions these days) are still the only games on the system I’m particularly interested in because I still have Wind Waker on the GC.

        My interest in Smash Bros isn’t huge so it’s kinda like buying a console for a Zelda game in a year-and-a-half (at best) based on a 60 second trailer. I’m not playing more than $200 for that at this stage.

    • I was going to go with a 4 x 0 = 0 joke.

      Disclaimer: Nintendo fan, bought WiiU at launch, very happy, future is looking good.

    • Well I found this comment funny. Not as much as the Nintendo fans who can’t take a dig though.

    • If by “4” you mean something like “8 million” then maybe you’re right… It’s a pretty close guess, you keep trying.

      • so they sold 8 million consoles since mario kart 8 released? Pretty sure they have sold closer to 4 units than 8 million since mk8’s release.

  • At Supanova John Heder was on stage, mentioning that Mario Kart 8 had just come out for the Wii-U, and that he could be home playing that instead of talking to all of us, and went into a long discussion of MarioKart tactics. They also had a WiiU with MarioKart on a stand there and it was always in use.

  • 400% sounds good on paper but when the console has been performing so abysmally it’s the least you should expect. 400% of 1 is 4 after all (not trying to say that’s how many were selling just that small numbers timed by big percentages don’t make big numbers)

    • Sales from the Nov 18 2012 release through to May 7 2014 amount to approx. 6.17 mil.
      From what Nintendo has stated, that’s a jump from 80k to 320k units per week. Nowhere near what Microsoft or Sony have been selling with their consoles, no doubt. However, for a console that most people seem to have written off as doomed, that four fold increase does sit pretty.

      Edit: Thought I should add that these figures are based on averages and only provide scope. They are not accurate in the absence of the preceding weeks sales data.

      • If they can keep it up, it’s also over a million units per month, which is the kind of numbers that, if they’d been hitting all along, would have put them well out in front.

        • Interesting you bring that up. An addendum to the up-to May 7 sales figures states that Nintendo aim to sell an extra 3.6 mil units by the financial year ending mid-2015. Given the fact that they would consider Mario Kart and the news of Smash Bros. and a new Zelda entry to contribute greatly to sales, I can’t help but think 3.6 mil units over a year is a reserved estimate.

          • Your figures are all out of whack.

            Nintendo (like all console makers) sell HEAPS of machines at launch and over the Christmas period.
            They sold a few million of those consoles in the first few months, so averaging that across the window it’s been on sale gives no indication of what a 400% increase in the middle of any given year is.
            If you consider the fact that they provided a percentage and not a solid figure, it’s probably best to be sceptical about the performance of those figures.

            Between April and July 2013 the Wii U sold 160,000 consoles globally, or just 13,000 a week.
            While they haven’t released comparative figures for that period yet, with two new consoles on the market and no system sellers since late 2013 it would be hard to imagine that sales in April 2014 were significantly higher, if higher at all.

            A 400% increase over the Christmas peak or something like that would be wonderful, but the market was basically stagnant at this point last year and I get the feeling if the actual figures of consoles shifted were in any way impressive they would have released that figure.

            Based on last year’s figures the 400% increase is moving around 50,000 consoles a week over the space of just a fortnight. That’s still not a lot of sales coming off one of two system selling releases for the year (Mario Kart and Smash Bros). The PS4 was selling around 250,000 a week from Feb through to April without any major releases.

            That said, I want one more than ever and some people will buy a WiiU just off the back of that Zelda trailer. I think they’re a LONG way off “saving” the console though.

      • Actually Wii U sales are now pretty level with XBOX1, although the PS4 is indeed pulling ahead.

        As a side note: a 4X increase does NOT equal a 400% increase!

  • Mario kart 8 is pretty great. After being disappointed with my launch WiiU for the better part of a year, I feel like it’s future finally might be starting to looking a little brighter. This is a good thing.

  • Much the same as @ynefel I bought a Wii U last year when Dick Smith was clearing them out cheap, then a few months later I traded it in so I could afford to get an Xbone, then Mario Kart came out and I was like “damn, I wish I’d kept it”. So on the weekend I bought a Mario Kart console bundle, and I’m loving it.

    The one thing I’m unhappy about with Mario Kart is that they added the koopalings into the roster, and left out ones like Diddy Kong and King Boo, but other than that, it’s Mario Kart, so it’s awesome.

    This is the start of Nintendo’s comeback, if they can space out the releases of Smash Bros., Captain Toad, Yoshi’s Woolly World, Mario Party 10, Kirby and the Amiibo’s evenly in the lead up to Zelda next year, they’ll go from strength to strength.

  • “The argument of, boy, maybe Nintendo should have waited until the installed base was higher? No. These games drive our installed base.”

    Someone better tell Ubisoft.

  • It’s the classic console cycle. Launch numbers are low, then when the good games finally get here a year later thinks improve remarkably.

  • if they fixed battle mode and had arena’s again, it would be one of my favourite games this year too

    • I’m holding our for DLC. They’d be stupid not to with the amount of people that are buying this game.

      • If they released DLC that included a couple new tracks, a couple new characters (Diddy and Boo) and an arena for battle mode, I wouldn’t be mad at all.

        • The track record is pretty good for some of their big first party games. NSMBU for the Luigi update and Pikmin 3 got more challenge stages.

          Mario Kart is bound to get updates to add amiibo functionality as well. Wonder what that will be. Pretty sure there will be additional content, either with that or separate.

  • Can’t wait to get mine! Just need to sell my PS4 first! Hopefully this week!
    Anyone in Sydney interested?

  • Hey got a question for the Wii Uers out there – Do you really need the Elite? If I am getting it just for Mario Kart, Donkey Kong, Mario & Smash Brothers…. will the basic version do?

    (Praying for a new Mario Galaxy too)

    • Only difference between Premium and basic is the black instead of white, 32gb instead of 8gb, and an eShop ‘premium’ dealio where I think you get something like 10% points purchased points bonus?

      For actual games, bugger all difference really.

        • Ahh is it? I didn’t realize that. How do you expand the memory on them? Can you just use microSD cards or something or?

          • Worth mentioning I’m not sure SD cards can be used to store games though, I think only external HD’s can. Google to be sure though.

    • AFAIK the only benefits you get to getting the premium one over the basic pack are,

      1) Nintendoland is a pack-in game
      2) It comes with a charging dock and cradle for the gamepad
      3) It’s got 32GB of internal storage instead of 8GB for the basic (AFAIK it supports external drives or USB’s thought)
      4) It’s black

      So, basically if you don’t mind it being white, you’re not too fussed about Nintendoland (which you can pick up pre-owned for $19 at EB right now), and don’t mind using external storage for downloading stuff, you’ll be completely fine with just the basic pack.

  • While this is great for Nintendo and the Wii U (I’m now sold on getting one at some point), imagine this happening for the PS4 for Xbone when one of their dead cert exclusives comes out. Halo or Uncharted will drive sales ridiculously high when they come out and the Wii U will likely be forgotten about again

    • There’s a certain truth to this for me, at least.
      Destiny launch I might get a PS4, Halo will probably prompt me to grab the bone. At the moment, Zelda is probably my WiiU launch point.

  • Where’s the hype for this game? I saw a decent amount before release, and then nothing the next day. The only thing close was Luigi death stare. And now, there’s no hype at all from news outlets. Where’s all the Kotaku articles describing Serrels destroying his marriage/family by relentlessly racing karts?

  • 4 times as many Wii Us compared to what though? Worldwide or just US? Last I heard Mario Kart 8 wasn’t doing as well in Japan but increased Wii U sales by 666% in the UK.

    Either way, it time to start thinking about getting a Wii U. You’ve got mario kart now, smash bros later and all those games for next year

  • Goes to show that perhaps they should release all future consoles and handhelds with a new Mario Kart at launch. That said maybe I’m in the minority but prior to Mario Kart having bought a WiiU at launch, playing through New Mario Bros WiiU (plus the Luigi one), Mario Land 3d, Wind Waker, NES Remix 1&2 and Donkey Kong, I was quite satisfied with my WiiU purchase already.

  • Me being pedantic but no one else has said it yet!

    1 x 0% increase = 1
    1 x 100% increase = 2
    1 x 200% increase = 3
    1 x 300% increase = 4
    1 x 400% increase = 5

  • Mario Kart certainly factored into it… but so did the crazy bundles going around. I picked up from EB that included the basic console, Mario Kart 8 (plus the download code I used on Wind Waker), Nintendo Land, and a bunch of Skylanders, all for $280.

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