Mario Kart 8 devs praise power of Wii U -- "It's a very pretty game"

Director and producer say upcoming racing game will deliver a visually impressive experience thanks to the technical ability of the Wii U.

Thanks to the power of the Wii U, Nintendo's Mario Kart 8 will deliver a visually impressive racing game the likes of which fans of the franchise have never seen, according to the game's designers.

"We're working with HD for the first time, and we really wanted to take advantage of that," Mario Kart 8 producer Hideki Konno said in a roundtable interview attended by GameSpot. "The last console version was Mario Kart Wii, which was released in 2008, so it was about six years ago. And during those six years, we were able to incorporate a lot of technology in our development process, but especially on the graphics side. So we put a lot of effort into making this a good looking game--it's a very pretty game."

Multiplayer has always been a major part of the Mario Kart series, but fans will no doubt recall the substantial drop in frame-rate in Mario Kart Wii when playing a local split-screen game. But now with the Wii U, however, Mario Kart 8 will sustain an enjoyable level of graphical fidelity even during multiplayer matches, Konno said.

"This time with the power of the Wii U we really made an effort to keep that graphic quality high regardless of how many ways we were splitting the TV into," he said.

For his part, Yabuki pointed out that the power of the Wii U allowed Nintendo to create better-looking character animations, to the level and range and of things that "we've never seen before" in the Mario Kart series, he said. But that's only the beginning.

"We've also been able to show movement on the [karts and bikes] that we haven't seen before," he said. "We're seeing bounding, we're seeing different parts of the kart move, we're seeing dirt on the tires, we're seeing skidmarks left on the course--again I think we've done a good job of utilizing that graphical power."

"Using the power of the Wii U, we were able to create a Mario Kart title that feels right, and the controls feel like they're perfect for this game."

Mario Kart 8 launches May 30. For more, check out GameSpot's recently published hands-on preview.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

327 comments
theKSMM
theKSMM

So they're able to use the power of this console to do things that other racing games have been doing for several years now?  Amazing.  I never appreciated how much computation power was required to draw these cartoons.

omar_q
omar_q

Excited for this game but I want Double Dash 2...

19James89
19James89

Hopefully this game sees the Wii U smash Sony and Microsoft to pieces. 

Wii U for the WIN. 

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

When ps4 was available for preorder in japan... Mario Kart 8 was outpacing PS4.

locknuts84
locknuts84

Mario Kart Wii was released in 2008? I remember thinking 'I'm over the Wii. It's a piece of shit' and went and bought a 360 before Mario Kart even came out so I never even played it. I only bought the Wii in 2007 so I must have gotten sick of it really quickly.


The Wii U is miles better though. It's what I wished the Wii was back in 2007, and seeing as I missed out on the last Mario Kart (I don't game on handhelds) and this one looks a million times better anyway, I'll pick this one up for sure!

solitas777
solitas777

I'm still not sure how I feel about the Wii U. I'm kind of sick of this gen and the WiiU is very much a last gen machine. Yet, some of the games look very fun. I guess I'll wait until it's selling for cheap second hand.

Zloth2
Zloth2

Ummm, going HD really doesn't matter if you keep the same (often single color) textures.

chev9341
chev9341

Oh yeah, not only Mario Kart looks incredible, it looks incredibly fun as well. You rarely see that on PS4 and Xbone because the majority of their fanbases want interactive movies and shooters.  WHERE'S THE GAMEPLAY????

chev9341
chev9341

Sony Fanboys: "Nintendo is doom because they make rehashes. *Buys PS4 remake of Last of Us and Tomb Raider: DE*"

chev9341
chev9341

Xbone fanboys: "Free DLC for Sonic Lost Worlds? LOL. *pays to unlock characters in the poor man's version of Killer Instinct*"

Defender1978
Defender1978

Wii U is awesome. It has much better games than the PS4 and Xbox One right now.  

toshineon
toshineon

@theKSMM  That can be said for the whole racing genre. I mean, really, what does Forza 5 bring to the table, other than updated graphics?

noncasualgamer
noncasualgamer

I'd like to know your definition of "last gen" and "next gen."

Then again, maybe I dont.

chev9341
chev9341

@solitas777 Yes, because we all know that video games are only about graphics. . . .

boringdork
boringdork

@solitas777  The Wii U is very much a current gen system, but it's all in how it's utilized. If the developers are lazy and don't optimize for a system then it's going to feel left behind.

Luckily, Nintendo knows how to utilize it's hardware and make games that look and perform in a breathtaking fashion.

Sadly, third party companies rarely will do the same... but don't underestimate the Wii U's capabilities... and right now? Great games are out, as well as on the horizon. Being a gamer I always get the major consoles,  but right now? Wii U is where it's at.

noncasualgamer
noncasualgamer

If only it was an HD shooter. Then we could marvel at all the shades of black and grey.

GOGOHeadray
GOGOHeadray

@chev9341 PS4 is still in its launch window how many remakes and rehashes of games did the wii u have when it was in its launch window? for a refreasher ( AC3; Batman arkhman city; COD BO2; darksiders, Madden; NBA 2k13; etc.)

GOGOHeadray
GOGOHeadray

@Defender1978 Wii U has been out going over a year; the PS4 and x1 hasn't even hit the one year mark yet.

Zloth2
Zloth2

@toshineon @Zloth2 Oh it looks fine but does it look better?  The grass is just flat green.  Upping the resolution leaves it still flat green.  I'm not saying they should re-do the game with realistic grass, I'm just saying that upping the resolution on a game like this isn't going to help because there's little in the game that will use the increased resolution.

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

@GOGOHeadray @chev9341  what 3 hours worth you CALL THAT GAMEPLAY NONSENSE, IN FACT THERE IS NOT ONE nintendo game you can beat in 3 hours, , 100 percent ,,  

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

@GOGOHeadray @chev9341  cod came with the other versions ,,   or relatively close,    and is last of us a launch window game no i dont think so ,  then you got other upcoming games and 99 percent of them are cross generational games lmao see the point being made here,   wiiu is getting new games , while ps4 xone get shared multiplats   and thus they wont be getting anything out of the extra horsepower because they focusing on last gen tech lol

noncasualgamer
noncasualgamer

Why wasn't ps4 good duringlaunch? Wasn't it supposed to be good or something? Like, be next gen or something? Are people actually buying into that "greatness awaits" crap?

chev9341
chev9341

@GOGOHeadray @chev9341 Four months after the launch, and PS4 is still in its launch window. . .You really don't give a shit about trying to hide your trolling. 

noncasualgamer
noncasualgamer

Sony fanboys don't get to spew to the world how amazing their blu ray box is, and then hide behind launch windows because their precious fps box has no friggen games. Sorry kiddies, it doesn't work that way.

Meanwhile, the poor old dead dusty rehashed Wii u actually has amazing games and is doing just fine, not to mention all our greatness that is awaiting for us by the end of the year, unlike sony's five year waiting period for anything good at all.

rarerichz
rarerichz

@GOGOHeadray @Defender1978 i just hope you guys know wii u has 8 exclusive games out right now while ps4 has 3 and xbox one has 3 that just goes to show you whos winning. at the end of the year wii u will be on top along with the ps4. do not forget wii u is still releasing exclusive games this year while xbox hasn't planned for one except titanfall. sony is releasing a rehashed version of last of us thats about it.

chev9341
chev9341

@GOGOHeadray @Defender1978 Ah the "but but but but, it's been out for a year." What's next, a lame excuse for the Wii U's awesome games? Oh wait - "but but but but, they're rehashes. *waits for Last of Us on PS4*

noncasualgamer
noncasualgamer

They already know this, hence "greatness awaits". But sony didn't tell all their loyal lap dog teens how long they would have to wait. That's why most sony fanboys are so caught up in bashing the XOne, they have nothing else to argue other than the obvious, that XOne put a huge target on their backs with all that online private eye camera bull shit.

That's when they tried to jump their elitist ship and start talking all buddy buddy with nintendo fans, acting like the Wii u needed a partner to succeed, that all you would need is a PS4 and Wii u, because of course, nintendo isn't a main console.

Well let me tell you, sony fanboys, you have nothing. No games. Sub par graphics compared to PC master race, still has the worst controls possible, no media playback, can't do anything the ps3 could do except of course having mediocrity as a final goal for all exclusives. Have fun with your movies though, and have fun with your DVDs and Blu-Ray as well.

Nev3rtime
Nev3rtime

@GOGOHeadray @chev9341  It's normally only 3 months but there's no defined length of a console launch window. Sony could consider the ps4 to have a 6 month launch window if they chose, but that would be unconventionally long.