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Mario Kart 8 Nintendo Direct reveals new items and racers

Surprise video details online modes and US hardware bundle

Nintendo has released a new Nintendo Direct video revealing additional information about Mario Kart 8.

The 35 minute video details the Wii U racer's 12-player online matches, the new Super Horn item, plus new Baby characters. There's plenty of fresh footage, plus insight from key developers including series producer Hideki Konno.

US Nintendo Direct

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UK Nintendo Direct

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Additionally, Nintendo has revealed a promotion which will see those who purchase Mario Kart 8 receive a select free title via the Nintendo eShop. Details can be found below.

The US version of the Nintendo Direct video also includes confirmation of Nintendo's plans to launch a Mario Kart 8 Wii U hardware bundle in North America, following the recent announcement of similar plans in Europe. Priced at $329.99, it will include a Premium console, the game, a red Mario Wii Wheel accessory and a red Mario Wii Remote Plus controller.

The Mario Kart 8 release date is set for May 30. You can get a first look at 16 other confirmed tracks as well as our extended impressions in our Mario Kart 8 hands-on preview.

  • Mario Kart 8 Bonus Game Promotion Europe: Whether Mario Kart 8 is purchased at retail or via Nintendo eShop, if you register an accompanying Club Nintendo PIN code of the game with Club Nintendo between 30th May 2014 (10:00 CEST) and 31st July 2014 (23:59 CEST), you will be eligible to receive a free download code for one of 10 selected Wii U games* by 31st August 2014 (23:59 CEST). This offer also applies to Club Nintendo PIN codes included in the Mario Kart 8 Limited Edition software offering and Mario Kart 8 Premium Pack - Special Edition hardware bundle. More details of this promotion will follow at a later date here.
  • Mario Kart 8 Bonus Game Promotion US: Get a Free Digital Game: People who buy Mario Kart 8 and register the game with Club Nintendo before July 31 will receive a free Nintendo eShop download code for an additional Wii U game. Players can grow their Wii U digital game collections by choosing from one of these well-received Wii U games: New Super Mario Bros. U, Pikmin 3, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD or Wii Party U. That's a two-for-one deal featuring some of the all-time great Wii U games. This offer also applies to people who get the game in the Mario Kart 8 bundle or digitally in the Nintendo eShop.
  • Online multiplayer: In Mario Kart 8, up to 12 players can race together online, with four main ways to find opponents (Global, Regional, Friends and Rivals, Tournament)**. Like to banter with your friends while you're preparing for a race? Mario Kart 8 lets players chat with one another in the lobby area using the GamePad microphone as they wait for their friends to join. Players can also create public or private tournaments for which they specify the day of the week, the time and the rules. As is Mario Kart tradition, players will be able to race against ghost data from friends, or even the top 10 worldwide racers. Players can try to beat them or just pick up a few tips and tricks from studying the best. If you beat the Mario Kart 8 development team's ghosts, you'll get a cool Miiverse stamp.
  • Mario Kart TV: On this in-game channel, players can view Highlight Reels from their races and tournaments they take part in - with rewind and slow motion replay features to boot - while racers eager to learn from others can watch the world's most popular Highlight Reels via Mario Kart TV and comment on them. Players with Google accounts can also upload their reels directly to YouTube from within Mario Kart TV, and post these videos directly to Miiverse.
  • New Items: No matter how skilled some racers are, they're just a blue Spiny Shell away from peril. A well-timed item turning defeat into victory in an instant. The new Super Horn blows away all other items - literally. Sounding the Super Horn issues forth a sonic shock wave that blasts away everything in the vicinity, including other drivers, Red Shells and even Spiny Shells. It's a potent asset, especially for drivers trying to maintain their lead. Mario Kart 8 also introduces the Crazy Eight, a swirl of eight different items that lucky players can use one by one.
  • New Racers: Two new playable female characters make their debut appearances in Mario Kart 8. New heavyweight driver Pink Gold Peach glows with a golden light and makes a shiny counterpart to Metal Mario, while the new Baby Rosalina shows up for a play date with other Baby characters. As in past Mario Kart games, players can again choose to play as their Mii characters, rounding out the field of racers to a total of 30.
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