Mario Kart 8 has 32 total courses -- 16 are new and 16 are remakes

Nintendo reveals loads of new details about its upcoming Wii U racing game, launching next month.

Nintendo's upcoming Wii U racing game Mario Kart 8 will have 32 total courses, sixteen of which are brand-new and the other 16 being "remixed classic courses." Nintendo announced this news today, along with a host of other new details about its much-anticipated game. 2008's Mario Kart Wii also had 32 courses.

Mario Kart 8 will also feature two Rainbow Road courses, of one which is brand-new and the other is a remake of the Nintendo 64 course. We also got to speak with the game's director and producer, who explained why Mario Kart 8 won't be all about luck and that the power of the Wii U allowed Nintendo to create a visually impressive game.

We've rounded up some of the biggest Mario Kart 8 news below. Be sure to also check out our extensive hands-on written preview and video preview embedded above. Mario Kart 8 includes:

  • 12-player online competitive play
  • 4-player local multiplayer
  • A new Spin Boost feature for when you're racing upside down or on walls
  • Returning characters like Metal Mario, Lakitu, and Shy Guy
  • New items: Piranha Plant (attaches to your cart and chomps other players; also gives you speed boost), Boomerang Flower (can be thrown forward or backward at opponents to stun).
  • New courses: Remixed classics include Moo Moo Meadows from Mario Kart Wii, Toad's Turnpike from Mario Kart 64, and Donut Plains from Super Mario Kart. The remade tracks include re-designed and re-imagined graphics and layouts.
  • Live recorded music: For the first time in the history of the Mario Kart series, some courses in Mario Kart 8 will feature music recorded by live performers, though we don't know who.
  • Control options: Wii U GamePad, Wii U Pro Controller, the Wii WHeel, and the Wii Remote and Nunchuck. Also supports off-TV mode.

Mario Kart 8 launches May 30 exclusively for Wii U. Nintendo's latest console is struggling at the moment, and Mario Kart 8 could provide a much-needed sales jolt.

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

71 comments
Evamorgana
Evamorgana

Why can't they release it for the wii too? Haven't bought a Wii-u- almost thinks it warrants it but I thinks it's the only game i'd play on it! 

scottsayssupbro
scottsayssupbro

Is this really all that surprising?

The last 4 Mario Kart games in a row have had 16 new and 16 old courses.


Normally I'd say that Nintendo are just too lazy to make more tracks for Mario Kart but in this case the tracks look very impressive and well-thought out.

locknuts84
locknuts84

Cool haven't played much of Mario Kart since the SNES. I have a lot to catch up on.

DarthLod
DarthLod

And it's still the boring rehashed game it was 10 and 20 years ago, and part of why Nintendo is done.

supersonariofan
supersonariofan

So much hype. So much hype. SO. MUCH. HYPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nintyfan95
Nintyfan95

4 players!! Only to sacrafice the framerate

ZIMdoom
ZIMdoom

Can anyone explain to me the difference between a "remix" of rainbow road and a "new" rainbow road? Wouldnt including any rainbow road track be a remix since the idea has been used in all the games?

Seriously. I don't read this and actually think 32 tracks. I think 16 recycled tracks and 16 other slightly recycled tracks.

Takeno456
Takeno456

This game looks great. Can't wait to play it.

SoNin360
SoNin360

If someone could just hand me a Wii U so I could play this, that'd be great...

blackace
blackace

I would love to play this, but Nintendo won't lower the price of their Wii U to $199 and add more internal memory.

Nintendad
Nintendad

Wasn't there suppose to be a create a track feature as well or was I just dreaming?

bluebird08
bluebird08

I wish more games supported local play.

sunbeam4
sunbeam4

does it support 8 players on a big 4k TV xp

Link3301
Link3301

This is why I love Nintendo, they bring back a bunch of old content, but don't shirk on new content.

itmustbepaul
itmustbepaul

Gamepad motion control play is also supported.

YearoftheSnake5
YearoftheSnake5

The hype train for this is'a rolling. I'm stoked for this one. Day 1.

toffifee
toffifee

Impressive and I don't even like Wii U. 

redskins26rocs
redskins26rocs

You know what I never understood about multiplayer game sequels, why do they never come with the maps from their predecessor. Like seriously, Halo games would have been so more epic.

It is awesome this game has so many tracks. The Wii U seems to get more appealing every time I see it. Too bad I still need a 3DS which comes first

Dark_Mits
Dark_Mits

Either Eddie is a big fan of Mario Kart, or Nintendo has paid Gamespot. And this is coming from a Nintendo fanboy.

Celsius765
Celsius765

this is it i need wii u....and an hd tv

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

I hate how they never say whether split screen will feature bots or not, because having 4 or 12 drivers on track makes all the difference.

scottman256
scottman256

@scottsayssupbro yes, it looks like this time the old courses got significant overhauls, not just fresh coats of paint. The remake of the N64 Rainbow Road looks amazing...

locknuts84
locknuts84

@DarthLod  What a sad, cynical comment. At least play the final version of the game first before deciding you don't like it. Also, Nintendo just needs a good shakeup of upper management. They're not 'done' lol.

chronomakers
chronomakers

@ZIMdoom  It's just like Mario Kart Ds, Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 7, half the tracks are brand new and half of them are remakes of older tracks. Maybe you never noticed XD but on Mario Kart Wii, the Shell, Banana, Leaf and Lightning cup are made of remade tracks, (the console on which the track comes from is written just before the name of the track :D). There was two rainbow road in Mario Kart 7 too, one brand new and a remake of the SNES one so that is not really new to the serie!

PrpleTrtleBuBum
PrpleTrtleBuBum

@SoNin360 I think the day is coming a lot closer when I have to get Wii U. This looks a lot better than the Titanfalls, Infamouses and other games the other consoles are offering. But then there's that Arkham and potential Elder Scrolls. Those I have to play on launch day, this can wait.

locknuts84
locknuts84

@blackace  I reckon $249 with Mario Kart would be amazing. You can always add more storage. No consoles ever seem to come with enough.

sunbeam4
sunbeam4

@bluebird08 apparently beyond 2 MK8 gets horrible :\

sanchango
sanchango

@redskins26rocs  Technically, Halo games DO get maps from their predecessors. They are just renamed to a different name(for god knows why)

Link3301
Link3301

Halo has several rehashed maps based on old maps in various installments.

EasyComeEasyGo
EasyComeEasyGo

Well this is one of the big 3 exclusive game coming out next month and we have yet to see a release date for Legend of Zelda, Bayonetta 2, and new SSB so MK8 is all what GS should be focusing on.

gameroutlawzz
gameroutlawzz

@Dark_Mits  Yeah except IGN has twice that many articles about MK8 today. Maybe its simply the fact that we finally are getting news for a real video game and not a bunch of generic FPSes/interactive movies/F2P garbage news from the other 2 irrelevant cancerous companies.

Xirtahm
Xirtahm

@Celsius765 Wait... it's 2014.  How the hell do you not have an HDTV by now?  >_>

gameroutlawzz
gameroutlawzz

@PrpleTrtleBuBum  MK multiplayer always had the players race against bots... Theres probably still the versus mode where you face other players only trying to pop their 3 baloons to eliminate each other using items.

ZIMdoom
ZIMdoom

I not only have played all of the console games, I own them and still play them with my kids. I am very familiar with them.

redskins26rocs
redskins26rocs

I bet it was I cant even imagine how awesome Halo Reach would have been if it came with all 20+ Halo 3 maps.

el_marto2003
el_marto2003

@ZIMdoom  You're not getting it. They could change the name of the rainbow road in mario kart 7 and rename it as "galaxy circuit or space circuit" , remove the colors and suddenly you're perspective of the track would inmediatly change because it has a different tag.

There are a lot of circuits with tricky turns where you can fall of a cliff aside from rainbow road. In fact, in the n64 you can't fall because the track has a wall but it has chomps lurking, while the gamecube is not as long as the N64 one and the 3ds doesn't have any laps and its just one straight run to the finish. The idea in a racing game is to get to the finish and you know rainbow road is to be, on paper, the most challenging track but the circuit is never the same as the previous mario kart. They are familiar, but different at the same time. Perhaps you just grew tired of playing a game like mario kart (toons throwing shells and banana peels at each other while driving karts).

ZIMdoom
ZIMdoom

Sure, but rainbow road is still rainbow road in my opinion. Always the final track, always the danger of falling off the edge. It do any matter if the turns are identical, the idea is identical. Which is why I ask try question how "new" these t axis will really be. Even the Wii version had new t axis that felt very similar to remakes. So while I've already preordered 8 and am sure it will be a blast, I am not going to get my hopes up for the supposedly huge amount of new tracks. I suspect they will seem really familiar.

el_marto2003
el_marto2003

@ZIMdoom  ok... if you have really played them all, then you would know that all the tracks are very different from each other. For example, the n64 rainbow road has nothing in common with the wii rainbow road aside from the name and the coloros of the track itself. Those two are the only things that have stayed the same over the years, but they are far from being cloned from the previous system.