After Rockstar Games announced it was unleashing the retail behemoth that is Grand Theft Auto IV on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on April 29, most publishers have abandoned the surrounding week outright. Nintendo, however, is known for doing things a little bit differently. Today, the Wii maker revealed plans to take on Rockstar's goliath head-on with its own diminutive champion: Mario. The publisher will release the far more family-friendly Mario Kart Wii on Sunday, April 27, two days before GTAIV pulls out of the garage.
Unveiled during the 2007 E3 Media and Business Summit, Mario Kart Wii will build upon some of the more well-received features of 2005's Mario Kart DS. Twelve-player online racing takes top priority for most, and Mario Kart for the Wii will also let two players from the same console battle it out online together. The game will feature 32 courses total, with 16 being specially created for the Wii version and the remainder being updated courses seen in previous installments in the series.
Karters will be able to take to the track as more than a dozen Mushroom Kingdom denizens, as well as digital representations of themselves--or Oprah--via the game's Mii integration. As with other installments in the series, the game will include a variety of modes not devoted to competitive racing, including 10 different battle arenas. Mario Kart Wii will also be receiving its very own channel on the Wii Menu, which will allow gamers quick access to tournaments, worldwide leaderboards, and ghost data.
As previously noted, Nintendo will be offering a range of control schemes with Mario Kart Wii, and will also be packing in the Wii Remote encasement dubbed the Wii Wheel with the game. For more on the game, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.