Mario Kart 8 Could Save the Struggling Wii U, Says Nintendo Exec

Mario Kart 8 arrives in two weeks and many industry insiders feel it could be the game that reverses Nintendo's fortunes with the struggling Wii U.

"I certainly feel that Mario Kart 8 can be the catalyst that will broaden Wii U's horizons," Roger Langford, Nintendo UK's Mario brand manager, told MCV. "It's very important for us that we have a successful launch and continue the promotion throughout the year and beyond."

According to GameSpot, the director is hoping gamers will see all the differences in the new title and will be able to be sold on the game in that way.

"There are lots of tweaks in the game that on the face of it might not sound like much," Langford said to MCV. "But we are looking to seed these bits out to the core Mario Kart fans via our online and social media campaign, and get that word-of-mouth and buzz up to launch. So that when we get to release day, we have the big TV campaign to make the big splash, but also the fans are raring to go."

Recently a list of all of the game's characters both playable and unlockable has been revealed.

The 20 playable characters are: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Toad, Koopa Troopa, Daisy, Shy Guy, Wario, Waluigi, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Baby Peach, Baby Daisey, Rosalina, Toadette, Metal Mario, and Lakitu.

IGN reported there are at least 14 unlockable characters. As of right now, 10 are confirmed. They include: Larry, Morton, Wendy, Iggy, Roy, Lemmy, Ludwig, Pink Gold Peach, Baby Rosalina, and Mii.

According to a Spanish publication of Nintendo Magazine, a picture of Diddy Kong was seen in a feature about Mario Kart. If that turns out true, Diddy would be the 11th character. See the image here.

Mario Kart 8 Wii U bundle was unveiled for the U.S. The bundle will be $330, and contains a 32GB black Wii U with a Mario themed red remote and racing wheel. Also, all copies of the game will come with a download code for a free game. The titles included are New Super Mario Bros. U, The Wind Waker HD, Pikmin 3, and Wii Party U. In Europe the game choices offered are: Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Nintendo Land, The Wonderful 101, Sonic Lost World, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, and Game and Wario.