Mario Kart 8 Sells 1.2 Million, Becoming Wii U's Fastest-Selling Game

The game Nintendo hoped would be a "catalyst" for Wii U hardware sales is off to a strong start.

by

After launching late last week, Mario Kart 8 has become the Wii U's fastest-selling game ever with more than 1.2 million units already sold worldwide, Nintendo announced today. This number is according to the company's internal sales data and accounts for sales in the Americas, Europe, and Japan.

Nintendo made no mention of how the game has impacted sales of the beleaguered Wii U console itself, although UK retail tracking group GFK Chart-Track announced on its own today that Wii U hardware had seen a 666 percent sales boost in the UK over the weekend. No specific sales figures were shared in the GFK report, but 82 percent of hardware sales were said to be the Mario Kart 8 bundle.

Nintendo had been hoping that Mario Kart 8 would serve as a "catalyst" for sales of the Wii U, which has struggled to live up to expectations thus far. As of March 31, only 6.17 million Wii U systems had been sold worldwide since its launch in November 2012, a number that is well behind the 9 million it expected to sell between April 2013 and March 2014.

"The early response to Mario Kart 8 demonstrates that the best days for Wii U are still ahead," said Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime as part of today's announcement. "This year’s E3 is just days away, and it will be all about the future games for Nintendo platforms. This milestone is a great place to start!"

The Mario Kart games have routinely been among Nintendo's best-selling titles; according to Nintendo, series sales eclipsed 100 million as of the end of March. Mario Kart 8's sales make it one of the best-selling games on Wii U; it's roughly on par with the 1.22 million copies of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD sold, but for now trails the platform's top sellers, New Super Mario Bros. U (4.16 million), Nintendo Land (3.09 million), and Super Mario 3D World (2.17 million).

Along with the new Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart 8 was one of the two major Wii U releases on the horizon from Nintendo. The game features high-definition graphics for the first time in series history, as well as improved online play and a new Mario Kart TV replay feature (providing us with video of phenomenal moments such as this). Gamers who buy the game and register it on Club Nintendo by the end of July will receive a free digital copy of select Wii U games, while everyone is free to be creeped out by the live-action Mario being used to advertise the game's Mercedes Benz GLA crossover in Japan.

For more on Mario Kart 8, check out GameSpot's review.

If you picked up Mario Kart 8 this weekend, were you already a Wii U owner, or was this the game to finally get you to pick one up?

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

385 comments
Lykanthropie
Lykanthropie

just played all the cups, the game is sadly not the game i expected.

This is my LAST Nintendo game - i am sick auf their low quality games on their low quality console with a useless much to big controller.

imajinn
imajinn

This is good news! Give me reasons to buy a Wii U again, and I certainly will. Hope this direction keeps flowing.

Rusmurf
Rusmurf

Great game great update, pretty funny that I need to dust off my WiiU for a new game lol.

VintAge68
VintAge68

I am looking forward to playing MK8 on my Wii U--and to getting Zelda Windwaker for free...

I also hope that Mario will once more help catalyzing sales for Nintendo, and the Wii U in particular ^_^;

Cozm1kaos
Cozm1kaos

To think everybody did not want anything from Nintendo. They were all caught up on power and graphics. Come on, just look at all the first party games they have made? all the characters in those games? every character Nintendo has made, has had an amazing game which brought fame to each of them. You think of Mario, Metroid, Zelda, Kirby, Star fox every character!! are idols to other big gaming companies. Any one of these other companies would pay an arm and a leg for the rights to anyone of these characters.


Mario kart 8 is simply amazing fun!!! worth buying!!

ecurl143
ecurl143

I believe people were just snapping this up for something decent to play on the Wi-U - nothing more, so I expected sales to be half decent.

hellgast0
hellgast0

I will wait until E3 to see if I want to buy a Wii U or not. I'm really tempted, but we'll see what Nintendo will show and if it can persuade me even more.

lucienbry
lucienbry

I have an Xbox One, a Wii U (thanks to the MK8 bundle) & a gaming PC



Mario Kart 8 is so much fun, The glory days are back


And when smash bros come out.............


OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Nintendo must include Zero from Megaman X

Take my MONEY 

rob9999991
rob9999991

This keeps up the WiiU might actually be a bit of a success by the end of it's life cycle.

Lostat
Lostat

It's good news.  More than a year ago I bought a WiiU but ended up selling it due to the platform just not having enough games at all, the console was collecting dust on the shelf.  Mario Kart 8 still isn't enough for me to to re-buy the console though, due to the fact there are very few games listed for future games of the WiiU.  I'm thinking "OK, MK8 is great & there's a couple of more titles this year...but what happens then?".

If Nintendo can announce plenty of new games for their line-up to bolster Super Smash Bros & the upcoming game "X", then I'll re-buy it.  But I need to know there will be plenty of titles at regular intervals for me to justify to purchase.

so_hai
so_hai

I just hope that 666% increase doesn't translate to 665 actual extra consoles sold...

seriousdave
seriousdave

So, when releasing a game people actually want and look forward to the sales will go up? Really? Who would have thought that?

Tauu
Tauu

Nintendo is as relevant as ever in the gaming industry. MK8 is yet another example of unmatched quality and polish. The controls are tight, responsive and just feel right. The WiiU's inferior hardware really doesn't matter because MK8 looks great and runs at a rock solid 60 fps. Most importantly the game is simply a blast to play.

rickphoenixxx
rickphoenixxx

The "fastest selling Wii U game" is kind of like being the healthiest thing on a Burger King Menu.
Fun looking game tho indeed.

byzantine_chant
byzantine_chant

Better buy stocks in Nintendo now before the price skyrockets after they show the new Zelda. Good luck finding a Wii-U after. LOL

greenmagic469
greenmagic469

LOL I seriously find this so funny.... Nintendo finally manages to pump out a halfway decent game for its floundering system and all the gaming moo-cows flock from the field to the edge of the fence and scream "woo hoo! take that you other companies!". Sorry guys, big news flash here, one game isn't going to save this console. Even if this game ends up shattering 4m sales by the time it's done, it won't make a large enough impact to get this system out of the water. Especially since as of now, no game will be able to sell more than 6 million units because there are only 6 million WiiU customers lol..... When the WiiU hits 20 million units, has multiple worth-while games and a steady flow of new features and titles, then you can rest easy. Until then, the fate of this wretched console is still unknown and most likely destined for failure as it was before. Have your moment in the sun, it's getting cloudy.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@ecurl143

By that logic, pretty much every major game that came out on the Wii U should've sold just as well but it didn't, so there goes your baseless logic.

deezdgbt
deezdgbt

@ecurl143 now if only those other two consoles had something worth snapping up.......watch dogs, lol, what a joke

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

@ecurl143 Is that why so many people are purchasing a console to play it?

coop36
coop36

@hellgast0 Same. Hyrule Warriors, Monoliths project X and Smash Bros look neat. If Nintendo reveals something awesome and unexpected besides the new Zelda at E3, Im likely sold.

cassmi87
cassmi87

@Tauu Saying that the Wii U's hardware is "inferior" is like saying that a bicycle is inferior to a car. They're just two completely different things for different purposes with different price points. Only a shallow glance on the surface would be the cause of a hierarchical comparison.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@rickphoenixxx

Well Super Mario 3D World did sell pretty well also and before the bundle, New Super Mario Bros. U was doing well.

hellgast0
hellgast0

@Stebsis If they mention this on the Nintendo Direct I will gladly give them all my money xD

bunchanumbers
bunchanumbers

@Stebsis it's hilarious! MKTV has been great for this. The link to the youtube vid of luigi is close to 700,000 views now. 

FLEEBS
FLEEBS

"@greenmagic469 "...finally manages to pump out a halfway decent game..."


Dude, I feel sorry for you and the people who are missing out on the numerous awesome games that are available for the console. That's all I have to say.

inkeyis
inkeyis

Wow dude, do you really have to try to put down good news, do you hear me going to Sony comments saying their company is almost bankrupt or to Microsoft forums saying how the kinect basically failed? Mario kart wasn't the "savior" it was the start. Smash bros, zelda, X and bayonetta are coming soon and e3 has more surprises, and before you criticize those franchises, keep in mind the millions smash and zelda sell

hystavito
hystavito

@greenmagic469 Yeah, and in addition Mario Kart is THE game, after this there isn't much else coming that will have as wide appeal.  People will mention stuff like Smash Bros. and even worse Zelda, but those don't sell to nearly as many casuals as Mario Kart.

byzantine_chant
byzantine_chant

@rickphoenixxx I don't agree! :)


Don't forget that they'll keep releasing other games. If they drop a Metroid, that will help, too. 


Bayonetta 2 is another major title in their grip. The first one was probably the best hard-action game made since the first Devil May Cry, in my humble opinion. 


The first Bayonetta may even be the best action game ever, so the sequel is gonna be a big deal.

abHS4L88
abHS4L88

@rickphoenixxx

At this point, we can only really expect exclusives from primarily Japanese 3rd parties and Indie developers :P 

hystavito
hystavito

@ArabrockermanX @hystavito @greenmagic469 Smash Bros. is bigger than say Zelda, for sure, but nowhere near Mario Kart.  On Wii, Mario Kart sold nearly 3 times as much.  Mario Kart could end up being the highest selling WiiU game for the entire life of the console, well assuming there won't be another Mario Kart for it :).